June 30 This day during the War of 1812

June 30, 1815 – USS Peacock versus HMS Nautilus The final naval engagement of the war, in which the American sloop Peacock fired on and seriously damaged the British brig Nautilus in the Straits of Sunda off Java. The British captain, Lieutenant Charles Boyce informed the commander of the American ship that the Treat of Ghent ending the war had been signed on December 24, 1814, but the Americans opened fire anyway. On 30 June, the USS Peacock captured the 16-gun brig Nautilus, under the command of Lieutenant Charles Boyce of the Bombay Marine of the East India Company in the Straits of Sunda, in the final naval action of the war. Boyce informed Warrington that the war had ended. Warrington suspected a ruse and ordered Boyce to surrender. When Boyce refused, Warrington opened fire, killing one seaman, two European invalids, and three lascars, wounding Boyce severely, as well as mortally wounding the first lieutenant, and also wounding five lascars. American casualties amounted to some four or five men wounded. When Boyce provided documents proving that the Treaty of Ghent ending the war had been ratified, Warrington released the prize, though at no point did he in any way inquire about the Boyce’s condition or that of any of the injured on Nautilus. Peacock returned to New York on 30 October. A court of inquiry in Boston a year later exonerated Warrington of all blame. In his report on the incident, Warrington reported that the British casualties had only been lascars.


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