Researchers from the United States Navy, with the support of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, are seeking to confirm whether the shipwreck resting off the coast of Rhode Island is the Revenge.
The team will make use of high-tech sensor equipment to map the site, which will serve as the first step towards retrieving artifacts.
The Revenge was commanded by Navy hero Oliver Hazard Perry, and was lost on a stormy day in January 1811.
Charlie Buffum, a brewery owner from Stonington, Connecticut, discovered the shipwreck while diving with his friend, Craig Harger.
He shared: “The Revenge was forgotten, it became a footnote… we are very confident this is it.”
The effort may possibly shed light on an important part in the life of one of the greatest naval officers in America. He is best remembered as the Hero of Lake Erie, after emerging victorious against the British navy in the War of 1812.
He is known to have said simply that “we have met the enemy and they are ours” after the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813. Perry was a 25-year-old commander when the Revenge sailed from Newport, Rhode Island, to New London, Connecticut, in 1811.
The ship, however, hit a reef in heavy fog, as the area is infamous for its rocky, tide-swept surfs. The crew eventually abandoned the Revenge, and no man was lost. He was, however, court-martialed after the incident, although he was exonerated.
David Skaggs, professor emeritus at Bowling Green State University who has written a book on Perry, shared: “He was a rising star…
But then his ship runs aground. Running a ship aground is not a helpful thing for your career.