Divers Find 1811 Wreck That Changed US History

Divers say wreck is USS Revenge, once helmed by US Navy hero Oliver Perry
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2011 7:17 AM CST
This Nov. 10, 2006 photo shows a submerged cannon that a team of divers say is one of the remains of the USS Revenge, a ship commanded by US Navy hero Oliver Hazard Perry.    (AP Photo/Tom Packer)

(Newser) – Two hundred years ago yesterday, the USS Revenge hit a reef in heavy fog, and sank into the deep off the coast of Rhode Island. Its captain, legendary naval officer Oliver Hazard Perry, survived and was recommissioned to the Great Lakes, where his victory over the British changed the course of the War of 1812 and US history. Now, amateur divers say they've found the wreckage of the Revenge.

The divers found a 42-inch cannon in 2005, reports AOL News, and have since discovered five more, an anchor, and canister shot. "Our eyes were bulging out of our heads," said one diver. Historians caution that there is no firm evidence the wreckage is from the Revenge, but, "If it's not the Revenge, whose cannons are they?" asks one diver. Perry, incidentally, is famous for having said, "We have met the enemy and they are ours." "If a lesser man had been" at that battle, asks one of the divers, "who knows what would've happened?"

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