A most professional and artistically pleasing interpretation of an important naval battle of the War of 1812, Pansing nailed the historic facts of the U.S.S. frigate UNITED STATES' complete defeat of his royal majesty's ship MACEDONIAN in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean.
Slightly more than two months after the U.S.S. CONSTITUTION won the first naval engagement of the war, on Oct. 25, 1812 the frigate UNITED STATES of 44-guns fell in with H.M.S. MACEDONIAN of 38-guns. The British captain bore down on the colonial upstart whose captain, Stephen Decatur, commanded her 24-pounders to fire. Their marksmanship proved superior, and the American would strike and bear-away slightly, and reloaded, strike again. In a two-hour engagement, MACEDONIAN's mizzen mast was shot down and both the main- and fore- masts were topped off, as Pansing has painted. It is recorded that more than 100 rounds hit the Brits ‘between wind and wave'. Suffering great losses to her working guns and crew, the British warship surrendered.
Pansing has put another historic reference in his painting, with the two-position views of the combatants on their respective approaches as the illusionary backdrop to the battle, as to possibly allude to the unavoidable nature of the conflict. The bright, stark reality of fight is hauntingly beautiful, with the smoke of the conflict failing to obscure the outcome. The two ships would take five-weeks to sail to New York, where MACEDONIAN would be purchased by the American government and become an fighting navy asset.
first name :