USS Seringapatam

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Seringapatam

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Seringapatam
(Whaler: t. 375; cpl. 31; a. 22 guns)

Seringapatam was a whaler operating as a privateer without a commission that was captured by the prize ship, Greenwich, off Tumbez, Peru, on 13 July 1813. Master's Mate James Terry of flagship Essex was placed on board the Seringapatam as prize master, and she cruised with Capt. David Porter's squadron. In September 1813, Porter found Essex in need of repairs and provisions and set sail for the island of Nuka Hiva in the Marquesas, nearly 3,000 miles distant. He took with him four of his prizes, including Seringapatam. When the repairs to the Essex were completed and provisions taken on board, he set sail in Essex for the coast of Chile, accompanied by Essex, Jr.

Prior to Porter's departure on 12 December, Seringapatam, Sir Andrew Hammond, and Greenwich were moved under the guns of the fort, and a force was ordered to stay on the island under the command of Lt. John M. Gamble, USMC. Soon after Porter sailed away the savages became so troublesome that Gamble was forced to land a detachment of men to restore order.

In April 1814, despairing of Porter's return, Lt. Gamble began to rig Seringapatam and Sir Andrew Hammond with the intention of quitting the island. When signs of mutiny appeared, he had all the arms and ammunition put on board his own ship, Greenwich. However, in spite of this precaution, the mutineers captured Seringapatam on 7 May, wounding Gamble. Her former captain reassumed command and sailed her to New South Wales, where the mutineers returned her to her original owner.