The published Naval General Service Medal rolls confirm James Smallwood as a Landsman aboard the Bedford for the Boat Service action of 14.12.1814.
'On 8 December , Sir Alexander Cochrane arrived off the Chandeleur Islands, and some of his ships having been fired at by American Gunboats - which retired into Lake Borgne, at the head of which the Army intended for the attack on New Orleans was to be disembarked - the Admiral resolved to clear the lake of them. Accordingly, on the night of 12 December, 42 Launches, armed for service, with three Gigs, carrying in all 980 men, were despatched, under the orders of Captain Lockyer, to attack the American Flotilla, consisting of five Gunboats, each carrying nine guns, and two smaller vessels, having crews of the aggregate of 245 men. After a pull of 36 miles against a strong current, about noon of the 14th the boats got alongside the enemy, and a desperate hand-to-hand conflict ensued. For some time the second barge of the Seahorse, commanded by Captain Lockyer and Lieutenant Pratt, was engaged, single-handed, with the Gunboat carrying the American Commodore's flag, and nearly all the assailants were either killed or wounded, including among the latter Captain Lockyer (severely), and Lieutenant Pratt (mortally). The gallant band of survivors, however, managed to make good their footing on the enemy's deck, and other boats coming up, the vessel was soon compelled to surrender. The remaining Gunboats were also boarded and carried, our seamen displaying their wonted dash and gallantry. In this affair the British, who suffered severely from the fire of the Gunboats while advancing, lost three Midshipmen and 14 men killed, and Captain Lockyer, four Lieutenants (one mortally), four other Officers, seven Midshipmen (two mortally) and 61 men wounded. The American loss was 41 men. Commanders Lockyer, Montresor and Roberts were promoted, as were likewise many of the Lieutenants and Midshipmen. No obstacle now intervened to prevent the disembarkation of the Army, which was carried out, only to be succeeded by one of the most disastrous assaults in our military annals' (Great Battles of the British Navy, by Lieutenant C.R. Low, R.N., refers).