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Ken Grant

Constitution vs Guerriere
19 Aug 1812


10 Feb 1812 [Monday] Matthew Cavanaugh died.
18 Feb 1812 Arrived in Chesapeake Bay.
19 Feb 1812 Seaman Samuel Smith died.
20 Feb 1812 Shifted to an anchorage "above Craney Island."
29 Feb 1812 Whitewashing hold.
3 Mar 1812 [Tuesday] Zackeriah Parkinson died.
5 Mar 1812 Discharging seamen whose terms have expired.
11 Mar 1812 John Bevins and William Kenney deserted from a boat whilst onshore.
12 Mar 1812 John Cornelia fell down the main hatch and was killed -- Seamen James Tyler and James Thompson deserted from the 2nd cutter.
13 Mar 1812 Seaman Isaac Dagget [sic] died in hospital ashore.
15 Mar 1812 Deserters Bevins and Kinney taken and confined.
16 Mar 1812 Bevins, Kinney, and John Martin all punished for desertion.
25 Mar 1812 Sailed for Washington Navy Yard.
29 Mar 1812 Lighter left ship with 6 24-pounders and 16 32-pounder carronades, 17 boxes of grape and canister, 70 32 pound shot, and 20 24 pound shot.
30 Mar 1812 Lighter left ship with 13 24 pounders, 1 32 pounder carronade, and 1 18 pounder.
5 Apr 1812 {Sunday] Arrived at Washington Navy Yard.
7 Apr 1812 Boys Thomas Johnson and John P. Linstrom deserted while ashore on duty in Yard.
8 Apr 1812 Secretary Paul Hamilton visited the ship.
9 Apr 1812 Cabin deadlights removed
11 Apr 1812 Seaman Thomas Williams fell from the mizzen top and was killed -- mention made of 24 elevating screws.
12 Apr 1812 Seamen Henry Jeffrys and John Kevins deserted ship.
21 Apr 1812 Thomas Cassady and Michael Burns deserted ship.
2 May 1812 Boatswain's Mate Thomas Musto found missing and believed drowned: had been "in a state of insanity" for 2 or 3 days -- hove ship down; bottom in better shape than expected.
8 May 1812 Finished coppering starboard side.
9 May 1812 Boys Peter Jones and William [obscured] deserted ship.
13 May 1812 Finished recoppering ship.
15 May 1812 Boy John Waterhouse deserted ship.
16 May 1812 Got out foremast and bowsprit, both much decayed.
23 May 1812 [Saturday] 25 tons of kentledge in spirit room.
25 May 1812 Stepped new foremast.
30 May 1812 Shingle in spirit room and hold.
3 Jun 1812 Deserter James Reed taken in Baltimore.
7 Jun 1812 Flags in ship's inventory: 1 American ensign, 1 American pendant (50'), 1 full set of signals, 1 American ensign 14' x 26', 1 pendant 48', 1 English ensign 20' x 14', 1 English jack, 1 English pendant, 2 American jacks, 1 Spanish ensign 11' x 18', 1 Spanish pendant, 1 French ensign 12' x 18', 1 French jack 6' x 9'.
11 Jun 1812 Hove over bar.
18 Jun 1812 Sailed -- 5th cutter brought declaration of war.
19 Jun 1812 1700 Lieutenant Reed read the declaration to the crew.
22 Jun 1812 Anchored near mouth of Potomac to backload -- took on 545 round and 60 double headed shot for the 24 pounders; 215 round, 35 stands of grape, and 15 cannister for the carronades; and 130 round shot for the 18 pounder.
25 Jun 1812 Lieutenant Charles Morris came on board -- powder aboard -- reference to 24 32 pounder carronades and waist anchors.
26 Jun 1812 Filling cylinders: 9 broadsides at 8 lbs, 11 at 7, 15 at 6, and 4 of half-charges for drill in the main magazine; 8 broadsides at 2 7/8 lbs, 9 at 2 5/8, 21 at 2 3/8, 12 at 2 1/2, and 4 at 3 lb for drill in the forward magazine. Also 4020 musket cartridges (335 bundles) and 3264 (272 bundles) for pistols. Cylinders filled from 98 large and 110 small barrels of powder. Thirty bundles of cylinders received.
27 Jun 1812 4380 gallons of rum aboard -- arrived at Annapolis.
5 Jul 1812 [Sunday] Sailed from Annapolis.
12 Jul 1812 Cleared the capes.
16 Jul 1812 1200 "...clear weather and fresh breezes from the Northward and Eastward. At 1 1/2 PM sounded in 22 fathoms of water. At 2 PM 4 sail of vessels in sight, turned 2nd & 3rd reefs out of the topsails and the top gallant sails. At 1/2 past 2 PM set the royals. At 3 PM sounded in 18 1/2 fathoms of water. At 1/4 past 3 PM tacked to the Eastward. At 4 PM a ship in sight bearing NE standing down for us and three ships and a brig NNW on the Starboard tack. From 4 to 6 PM got a light breeze from the Southward and Eastwrd, wore ship and stood towards the above sail keeping her a little off the Larboard Bow. Set the topgallant & Royal staysails, and starboard top gallant studding sails. At 1/2 past 7 Beat to Quarters and cleared ship for action. At 8 PM light air coming up with the above ship very slow.

"At 10 PM hauled down the staysails and hauled up the spanker. At 1/2 past 10 PM made the private singlas of the day. At 1/4 past 11 PM hauled down the signals, not having been answered by the above ships, and made sail by the wind, with starboard tacks on board."

17 Jul 1812 "From 12-4 AM light airs from the Southward and Westward, and cloudy. At 4 AM the ship made a signal (a rocket and two guns) at daylight discovered three sail off the Starboard quarter bearing NE and three sail astern.

"At 5 AM discovered another sail astern making 2 frigates off our Lee quarter, and 2 frigates and a ship of the line, one brig and one schooner astern.

"At 1/4 past 5 AM it being light and the ship having no steerageway, hoisted out the 1st cutter and out the 2nd ahead to tow ship. Headwind to the Southward. Got a 24 pounder up off the gundeck for a stern gun and the forecastle gun aft, cut away the tafrail to give them room and run two guns out the cabin windows. At 6 AM got the ship head round to the Southward and set the top gallant studding sails one of the frigates firing at us. At 1/2 past 6 AM soounded in 21 fathoms of water. At 7 AM got out a kedge and warped the ship ahead. At 8 AM calm, employed warping and towing the ship ahead. the other ships having a light air gaining on up with their boats ahead, and one of them rowing their sweeps. At 9 AM the above ship in close chase of us, and nearest frigate gaining on us. At 9 muniutes past nine AM a light breeze sprung from the southward, braced up by the wind on the Larboard Tack, when the above Frigate commenced firing but her shot did not reach us, got the boats alongside, run two of them up. At 10 AM started about 2,355 gallons of water and pumped it out, almost calm, manned the first cutter to tow ship. Six sail of the enemies ships off the starboard Beam, and quarter perceived that the nearest frigate had got all the boats from the other ships to tow her towards us. From 10 AM to Meridian employed warping and towing. All sail made by the wind, one of the above ships coming up apparently having all the boats from the other ships. Light airs and cloudy.

"..light airs from the Southward and Eastward attended with calms. At 1/4 after Meridian, sent the first cutter and green cutter ahead to tow ship. At 1/4 before 1 PM, a strange sail discovered 2 points abaft the Lee Beam. The 4 frigates 1 point off the starboard quarter, line of battleship, brig and schooner off the Lee Beam. At 7 minutes before 2 PM the chasing frigates commenced firing their Bow chase guns, we returned them with our stern chase guns. At 1/2 past 3 PM still chased by the above ships, one of them which is nearly in gunshot. At 7 PM observed the enemy's ships towing with their boats. Lowered down the first cutter, green cutter and gig and sent them ahead to tow ship. Steering SSW light airs inclinable to calms. At 1/2 past 7 PM sounded 24 fathoms of water. At 8 PM light airs from the Southward and Eastward. The 1st and 5th cutters, and gig ahead towing ship, the Enemies ships in the same position, at 1/2 past 7 PM.

"From 8 to 9 PM light airs and cloudy. enemies ships still in chase of us, boats ahead towing ship. At 7 minutes before 11 PM a breeze sprung from the Southward, boats came alongside, hoisted up the gig and green cutter, and set the fore topmast staysail and Main topgallant studding sail. "

18 Jul 1812 "At Midnight moderate breezes and cloudy sounded in 26 fathoms of water. the enemies ships still in chase. At 2 AM sounded in 23 fathoms of water, discovered one of the ships off the lee beam. At 1/2 past 2 AM took in the studding sails. At daylight same frigates in sight three off the lee quarter and one off the lee beam, From 2 to 3 miles distant. At 4 AM six sail in sight from off the deck, hauled down the fore topmast staysail, very light breezes. At 4:20 AM tacked ship to the Eastward. At 5 AM passed about gun shot distance to windward of one of the frigates, hoisted in the 1srt cutter, one sail in sight from the masthead. At 8 AM hauled down the middle staysail. At 9 AM fitted and set Fore and Main skysails saw a ship to windward, supposed to be an American Merchantman standing toward us, the frigates hoisted English colours, got Royal studding sails and mounts fitted, and shifted the starboard foretopmast studding sail boom which was sprung. At 10:15 AM sounded in 25 fathoms of water fine gray sand and broken shells. At 11 AM took in skysails. At meridian moderate breezes and pleasant weather, rather leaving the frigates in chase the [sic] headmost frigates to Leeward bearing nearly N by w, 4 or 5 miles distant, the nearest frigate WNW direct in our wake distant about 3 1/2 miles, the Line of Battle Ship N by W 1/2 W on the larboard tack hull down, two frigates off our lee quarter NNW 1/2 W on the larboard tack hull down, two frigates off our lee quarter NNW 1/2 W and NW by W about 5 miles distant and a brig bearing about N by W. Observed Lat 38-47 North which from that and the soundings got at 1/4 past 10 AM allowing for the distance since run gives our Long about 73-53 West from which we date our departure.

"...At 1 PM hauled down the Royal staysails and set the middle staysail. At 2 PM got shifting backstays with topgallant masts, and set them well up, took in the gaff topsail and mizzen top gallant staysail. At 1/2 past 2 PM set the mizzen topgallant and main Royal staysails and Main staysails. At 4 PM a moderate breeze from the SSW and cloudy, four sail of the enemy still in chase, the nearest about 6 miles off bearing NNW 1/2 W and one off the weather quarter W by N 1/2 W.

"From 4 to 6 PM moderate brezes and cloudy. At 5 PM set topgallant and fore topmast studding sails. 1/4 before 6 PM took in topgallant studding sails and fore topmast studding sail. At 1/2 past 6 PM took in the Royals. At 1/4 before 7 PM a heavy squall of wind and rain took in our skysails, topgallant sails and flying jib, set the fore topmast staysail and took the 2nd reef in the Mizzen topsail and one reef in the spanker. At 7 PM set the topgallant sails and main topmast staysail. At 1/2 past 7 PM the Leewardmost ship NNW 1/2 W and the weathermost ship NNbyW 3/4 W the other two more astern hull down, set middle and topgallant staysails. At 3/4 past 7 PM set royals, flying jib and mizzen topgallant staysail and turned the affect of the spanker. Sent the skysail yards down in the tops. At 1/4 past 8 PM wind light set starboard topgallant studding sails. At 1/4 past 9 PM the wind hauled round to the Southward and Westward, Set starboard lower steering and topmast and royal studding sails, skysails and gaff topsails, rounded in the weather braces. At 1/2 past 10 PM the wind backed round again took in the lower steering sail and braced up. Heared [sic] two guns from the enemies from the ships off the lee quarter. All 11 PM could just discover the weather ship to have got in our wake. At midnight moderate breeze and pleasant took in the Royal Studding sails.

19 Jul 1812 "From midnight to 4 AM moderate btreezes and cloudy. At 1 AM set the skysails. At 1/2 before 2 AM got a pull of the weather brace and set the lower steering sail. At 3 AM set the main topmast studding sail. At 1/4 past 4 AM hauled up to SE by S. 4 sail in sight astern, the weathermost ship bearing NW 1/2 W the 2nd NW and the third NW by N Norrtherly all of them hull down. At 1/2 past 6 AM breeze moderate, employed wetting the sails aloft. At 8 AM moderate breezes and pleasant 4 ships still in sight chasing of us, the nearest and weathermost ship having her lower yards under the same ship bearing NW 1/4 N and the Leeward ship N by W.

"At 1/4 past 8 AM all the ships in chase stood to the Northward and Eastward. At 1/2 past 8 AM discovered a brig two points off the Starboard Bow, took in the Royal studding sails and skysails and stood for the sail ahead. At 9 AM discovered another sail ahead. At 1/2 past 9 AM backed the main topsail and spoke an American brig 33 days from Santo Domingo bound for Portland..."

20 Jul 1812 Seaman Henry Gales died --1215 returned the "Larboard forward 24 pounder" to its place on the gun deck.
28 Jul 1812 Arrived at Boston.
2 Aug 1812 Sailed from Boston.
11 Aug 1812 "...the 5th and green cutters from the stern and quarter..." -- captured and burned a British merchant brig.
15 Aug 1812 Recaptured a merchant barque, once prize to the Salem privateer DOLPHINS but retaken by HMS AVENGER -- took out 3 British prisoners.
16 Aug 1812 Recaptured American brig ADELINE, taken by HMS AVENGER -- took out a British midshipman and 5 men; sent Midshipman Madison and 5 men to take into an American port.
19 Aug 1812 "Commenced with fresh breezes from the Northward, and Westward and Cloudy, at 2 PM, discovered a sail to the Southwards, made all sail in chace, at 3 PM perceived the chace to be a Ship with her Starboard Tacks on board, close hauled by the Wind, at 1/2 past 3 PM closing fast with the Chace, who appeared to be a Frigate, at 1/4 before 5 PM the Frigate lay her Main Topsail to the Mast, took in our Top Gallant Sails, Staysails, flying Jib, hauled the Courses up, took the 2nd Reef in the Topsails, and Sent down the Royal Yards, and got all B[ ? ], and ready for action and beat to Quarters, at which our Crew gave three Cheers, at 5 PM bore more up bringing the Chace to bear rather off the Starboard Bow, She at that time discovering herself to be an Enemy by hoisting three English Ensigns, at 5 minutes after 5 PM, she discharged her Starboard broadside at us without effect, her shot falling Short of us. She immediately wore around, and discharged her Larboard Broadside two shot of which hulled us and the remainder flying over and through our rigging, we then hoisted our Ensign and a Jack, at the Fore, and Main Top Gallant Mast heads The Enemy still manoeuvering to rake us firing alternately his Broadsides, we returning his fire with as many of our Bow Guns from the Main Gun deck as we could bring to bear on her, at 3/4 past 5 PM the Enemy finding his attempts to rake us fruitless, bore up with the wind rather on his Larboard Quarter, we then sett [sic] our Main Top Gallant Sail, and steered down on his Beam in order to bring him to close action, at 5 minutes after 6 PM hauled down the Jib, and lay the Main Top Sail Shivering and opened on him a heavy fire from all our Guns, at 15 minutes after 6 PM the enemies [sic] Mizen Mast fell over on the Starboard side, on which our crew gave three cheers, we then fore reaching on him, attempted raking of his Bow,but our braces being shot away and Jib Haulyards, we could not effect it, he immediately attempted raking of our stern, but failed also, getting but one of his Guns to bear on us which he discharged with little or no effect, having his Bowsprit entangled in our Mizen rigging our Marines during that time Keeping up a very brisk and gauling [sic] fire on him, from the Tafferale [sic], and our Boarders preparing to board, at which time Lieutenant Charles Morris, and Lieutenant William S. Bush of the Marines fell from off the Tafferale [sic], the former severely wounded, and the latter Killed, our vessel having way on her, shot clear of him, when immediately, it being then 30 minutes after 6 PM his Fore, and Main Masts fell over on the Starboard Side, Sett Fore and Main Course, and stood to the Eastward, and took one reef in the topsails, in order to reeve our Braces, and haulyards which had been shot away; [ein] which time the Enemy is complete wreck under his Spritsail, fired a Gun in token of Submission to Leeward, which we answered as soon as our Topsails were sett [sic], and our braces rove by wearing Ship, and running under his Lee, hauling up our courses, and laying our Main Topsail to the Mast, and sending a boat with Lieutenant Reed on board of the prize &c... at 1/2 past 7 PM hoisted out all the Boats, to take out the prisoners, sent the 2d and 3d Cutters with First Cutter with a ten inch Hawser to take the prize in tow, at 8 PM the Boat returned leaving Lieutenant Reed in charge of the Prize, and bringing with them Captain Dacres of formerly his Britannic Majesty's Ship Guerriere mounting 49 Carriage Guns, 30 of which were 18 pounders, on his Main Gun deck 14.32 pounder Carronades on his Quarter deck and one howitzer a 12 pound Caliber also: and 2.32 pounder Carronades, and 2 twelve pounder long Guns on his Forecastle Manned with [left blank] Men including Marines Boys, and Officers, our loss sustained during the action in Killed and Wounded 14. Seven of which were killed, among the latter [sic] William S. Bush, Senior Lieutenant of Marines, and among the latter Lieutenant Charles Morris dangerously, and Mr. Aylwin Sailing Master, slightly; one of the Seamen of the number Killed, Robert Brice lost his life through want of precaution in not sponging His GUn being blown from the Muzzle of the piece, our standing and running rigging much cut, and One Shot through the Fore Mast, one through the Main Mast,and one through the heel of the Fore Top Gallant Mast, and the Starboard Cross Jack yard arm cut away, as also the Spare Top Sail Yard in the Main chains, and the B[ ? ] for the slings of the Main Yard broken, our spanker Boom, and Gaff Broken by the Enemy, when foul of our Mizen Rigging, at 11 AM [sic] the First Cutter returned with the Master finding it impracticable to get the Prize in tow, having been obligated by the drift of the Wreck to slip the Hawser, during the night keeping at a convenient distance from the a different Tack to receive the prisoners, and in [?] in knotting and splicing the Rigging and getting the Ship clear for action; our sails also being much cut through with the Enemies [sic] Shot..."
20 Aug 1812 "... moderate and clear at 1 AM discovered a sail to windward being about N.W, at day light discovered a sail to windward, but could not discover what she was, in all probability the sail discovered at 1 AM, at 7 AM sent down the Fore Top Gallant Yard, and wounded Mast, and sent up another, Crossed the Yard and sett [sic] the Sail, at 1/4 past 7 AM was hailed from the prize by Lieutenant Reed, who said that the prize, had five feet of water in the hold, and that none of the prisoners on board would assist in pump her out; Carpenters employed in fitting of fishes for the Fore, and Main Masts, shifting the Slings, on the Cross Jack Yard, and putting Top Sail Sheet Blocks on the Yard arm employed in splicing, and knotting the rigging, and replacing what running rigging had been cut away, at Noon, light air from the Northward, Observed in 40.53 North."
23 Aug 1812

[Saturday] Filling cartridges -- passing powder to the forward magazine -- making cylinders -- repairing rammers and sponges.

30 Aug 1812 Arrived at Boston.
1 Sep 1812 Captain Hull went ashore.
15 Sep 1812 1600 Commodore William Bainbridge relieved Captain Hull and hoisted his broad pennant -- crew expressed dissatisfaction -- Armorer Leonard Stayas [?] sent on board Gunboat 50 for mutinous language.
25 Sep 1812 George Mitchell given 12 lashes for desertion; sent to Gunboat 58.
20 Oct 1812 Whitewashing berth deck and cockpit.
28 Oct 1812 Sailed from Boston with HORNET.
9 Nov 1812 Prized the American brig SOUTH CAROLINA for having a British license - "...the stern cutter.."

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