- HMS Hussar (1763)
HMS "Hussar", a ship built in
Englandin 1763, was part of the British fleet in North America.
American Revolution, "Hussar" sailed as a dispatchboat on the North American station. By mid-1779, the British position in New Yorkwas precarious as a French army had joined forces with General George Washington's troops north of the city. When AdmiralSir George Brydges Rodneytook his twenty ships of the line south in November, it was decided that the army's payrollbe moved to the anchorage at Gardiners Bayon eastern Long Island. On November 24, 1779, against his pilot's better judgment, "Hussar's" Captain Charles Poledecided to sail from the East Riverthrough the treacherous waters of Hell Gatebetween Manhattan Islandand Long Island.
Just before reaching
Long Island Sound, "Hussar" was swept onto Pot Rockand began sinking. Pole was unable to run her aground and she sank in 16 fathoms (29 m) of water. The British immediately denied there was any goldaboard the ship, but despite the difficulty of diving in the waters of Hell Gate, reports of $2 to $4 million in goldwere the catalyst that prompted many salvage efforts over the next 150 years. This continued even after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers"blew the worst features of Hell Gate straight back to hell" with 56,000 pounds (25 t) of dynamitein 1876. "Hussar's" remains, if any survive, are now believed to lie beneath landfillin the Bronx.
* Hepper, British Warship Losses.
* Rattray, Perils of the Port of New York.
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