Brig Eagle before the Battle of Plattsburg Bay, Lake Champlain, New York, 1814.
“Sir: I am happy to inform you that all my officers and men acted bravely, and did their duty in the battle yesterday, with the enemy,” wrote Robert Henley (Henly), commanding the 20-gun brig Eagle at the Battle of Plattsburg, 11 September 1814.

Second-largest of four ships in Master Commandant Thomas Macdonough’s squadron on Lake Champlain, Eagle was rushed to completion in nineteen days at Vergennes, Vermont, two weeks before a British land-and-water invasion from Canada began.

In the ensuing battle, Eagle lost 13 killed and 20 wounded of a crew of 142. The Congressional Gold Medal was later awarded to Macdonough, Henley and Lt. Stephen Cassin in recognition of the “signal victory.”

Henley, born at Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia, 5 January 1783, died at Sullivan's Island, Charleston, South Carolina, 7 October 1828.