The sea battle between the USS Constitution and the HMS Guerriere occurred 19 August 1812, exactly 200 years ago. It was a great morale booster for the young American republic, occurring so soon after America became independent of Britain.
But was it a fair fight?
It was a tradition that when a ship was captured in battle, it would retain the name it had before the capture. The British navy had captured the Guerriere from the French. It never became an American vessel because it burned and sank immediately after the battle with USS Constitution.