This engraving portrays a battle during the War of 1812. This battle, like others in which Americans defeat the British at sea, was taken up as a subject by various American artists. One other example is Michele Felice Cornè's USS “Hornet” Sinking HMS “Peacock,” 1813. The ships in this image cross over the low horizon line. Hamilton argues that this makes them the "organizing element" of the two realms of sea and sky (R. Stein, Seascape 31, 33).