Action off Valparaiso
On March 28, Captain David Porter attempted to break out of Valparaiso Chile, but Essex lost her main topmast in a gale. ... Disregarding Chilean neutrality, Captain James Hillyard, commanding HMS Phoebe attacked and taking advantage of his guns superior range, slowly but surely battered away at Essex. ... Three hours later Captain Porter was forced to strike his colors, including the blue banner "Free trade and sailors' rights" â€” the slogan that had impelled the United States into war. ... Essex lost 58 killed, 31 drowned, and 70 wounded. Essex was taken into the Royal Navy as a 42-gun frigate.