USS Greyhound

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Greyhound

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Greyhound

A breed of tall, slender, swift hound with a narrow pointed head.

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(Sch. dp. 65'; cpl. 31; a. 3 g.)

Greyhound was one of several ships purchased in 1822 to augment Commodore David Porter's "Mosquito Fleet" combating piracy in the West Indies. With Master-Commandant John Porter in command, she joined the West Indies Squadron in early 1823 and was almost immediately dispatched to Puerto Rico to seek that island's aid in suppressing the pirates. Returning from this mission, Greyhound was placed under Lt. Lawrence Kearny and sent to patrol the Cuban coast.

While patrolling with Beagle on 21 July, Greyhound gave chase to an unidentified ship off the Cuban coast near Vera Cruz; the ship turned out to be a legitimate Colombian privateer: a rare thing in those waters. Lt. Kearny then decided to go ashore in search of game to supplant his ship's food supply; his boat, when it neared the shore, was attacked from ambush and forced to return to Greyhound. When another attempt to land the following day met the same reception, Lt. Kearny sent ashore a party of marines and seamen, under the command of Lt. David Glasgow Farragut, to attack the pirate camp. Meanwhile the two schooners closed the shore and began to bombard the camp, effectively trapping the pirates between landing party and the sea. After a brief but fierce struggle, the pirates, including some women and children, fled inland. Exploring the village, Farragut and his men discovered several large caves filled with rich plunder of all sorts and they burned the village and the eight small boats they found in the harbor, then returned to the schooners.

Greyhound continued coastal patrol until, with the onset of the yellow fever season, the "Mosquito Fleet" sailed north for healthier weather. Greyhound did not return to the Caribbean with Porter the following spring. Found unfit for further service, she was sold at Baltimore in 1824.

 

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