Friday, September 25, 2009

You Gotta Love The Navy...!


My friend, Minerva, sent me this little bit of naval history just because she knows how much I love sharing these little tidbits with all my readers!

I found this to be very interesting because just how tough the sailors of old were! These guys were some really BAD fellers, indeed! Just read this record of a very familiar ship in American history and one of their campaigns!

The U. S. S. Constitution (Old Ironsides), as a combat vessel, carried 48,600 gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers and men. This was sufficient to last six months of sustained operations at sea. She carried no evaporators (i.e. fresh water distillers).

However, let it be noted that according to her ship's log, "On July 27, 1798, the U.S.S. Constitution sailed from Boston with a full complement of 475 officers and men, 48,600 gallons of fresh water, 7,400 cannon shot, 11,600 pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum."

Her mission: "To destroy and harass English shipping."

Making Jamaica on 6 October, she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum.

Then she headed for the Azores , arriving there 12 November. She provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of Portuguese wine...

On 18 November, she set sail for England . In the ensuing days she defeated five British men-of-war and captured and scuttled 12 English merchant ships, salvaging only the rum aboard each.

By 26 January, her powder and shot were exhausted. Nevertheless, although unarmed she made a night raid up the Firth of Clyde in Scotland . Her landing party captured a whisky distillery and transferred 40,000 gallons of single malt Scotch aboard by dawn. Then she headed home.

The U. S. S. Constitution arrived in Boston on 20 February 1799, with no cannon shot, no food, no powder, no rum, no wine, no whisky, and 38,600 gallons of water.

Can you believe this? In the dead of night, with no powder, no shot, nothing but great big brass ones...and an even bigger thirst, they landed in Scotland and stole 40,000 gallons of whisky from a distillery owned by a foreign country!

Like I said, these were some BAD boys...and very frugal in the use of their water, I might add! Yep...you gotta LOVE the Navy!

Now, let's get some coffee and sit at the table for a bit!

18 comments:

JoJo said...

Good morning my Special One. I can't believe I am the only person here this morning. But what a story. And no wonder they were so mean lol what a headache those guys must have had.
Seems we have plenty coffee to drink this morning my friend is it raining there still? We can sit on the porch its a beuatiful morning.

Catman said...

Jim,

If we, the public, can prove that we are a tenth as tough as those men, the Republic can be saved.

Thanks for the reminder that when there is plenty of alcohol, personal hygiene, apparently, is unimportant.

HermitJim said...

Hey JoJo...
Guess everyone is sleeping in today! Does make you wonder about those headaches, doesn't it?

Still raining, off and on...but we'll take a chance and go outside!

Thanks for coming and keeping me company!


Hey Catman...
Some tough old boys back then! I guess that if you drink enough, you don't notice how everyone smells!

Maybe they just rubbed down with the booze! Ya know, to kill all the germs!

Hey, thanks for coming by today!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

It´s a miracle they were able to do anything! They must have been totally drunk all the time :-) :-) :-)
Yes, thouse boys were really bad :-)
Have a great day now!
Christer.

Ken said...

...mornin'Jim...don't be fooled,those boys drank the booze as water rations...i'm of the impression that the water tank was mainly a ballast...if/when needded,was 'strictly' rationed,guarded round the clock,and 'audited' daily !?!?

HermitJim said...

Hey Christer...
Does make you wonder just how they were able to walk on the deck while the sea was pitching it back and forth!

All I know is that the hangovers must have been intense!

Hey, thanks for the visit today!

HermitJim said...

Hey Ken...
If the water they had aboard ship was no more potable than most of what was on land...they were better off with the rum and grog.

I'm pretty sure that the captain would not let things get out of hand when it came to the drinking...!

Besides, most of these guys probably grew up drinking more spirits than we do today, due to the water quality...so they were probably used to it!

I really appreciate you coming by today, buddy!

Mayberry said...

Many times, when running down an enemy to take her as a prize, the water would be dumped overboard to lighten ship and gain speed. The rum, however, was never jettisoned.... Priorities!

(from a sea shanty of the era):

The captain likes whiskey
and the mate likes rum

Pay me my money down

Us sailors like both
but we can't get none

Hey! Pay me my money down....

HermitJim said...

Hey Mayberry...
I didn't know that about dumping the water, but it makes perfect sense to me!

Thanks for the tune...I appreciate it and I appreciate the visit!

tjbbpgobIII said...

I think everyone grew up drinking rum and beer back in the colonial days, especially the kids and the rough crowd. The "idle rich" probably drank whisky which, in the old world, even today, means scotch. The people had a hardy constitutions which is why they could stand Valley Forge and the like and all that drinking with probably very little hangovers to speak of. Hell most of the killing was up close and personal with knives and tomahawks and other things, Single shot weapons were unreliable. Muskets that were as likly to miss or misfire as not. After that one shot it was no quarter ask or given IMHO.

HermitJim said...

Hey Tjbbgobill...
I think you're probably right! Beer and ale were , with wine, a more common drink with meals than water.

The folks were of a strong constitution by necessity, due to the lyfestyle and surroundings.

We can be thankful they were strong willed, I'm thinking!

Thanks for coming by today!

tjbbpgobIII said...

Well thanks Hermit, I like to give another old vet some luv. I usually drop by everyday, don't always post.

HermitJim said...

Hey Tjbbgobill...
And it's always a pleasure to have the pleasure of your company, my friend!

Anonymous said...

This fable is far from true; it's a good story but BS.

In 1798-99 the US was engaged in a quasi war with FRANCE, not England. USN squadrons operated on the east coast and in the Caribbean and captured a number of French merchant and warships.

That raid on Scotland was conducted by John Paul Jones in 1778 and the town did know the Continental Navy was there!

Most of the water on board was used for cooking but each sailor was issued one quart of watered down beer, rum or wine per day. During rainstorms canvas funnels collected rainwater and the ships stopped frequently for fresh water.

DaninBoca

Off Grid Terlingua said...

Who needs water when you got jim beam.

Interesting stuff there Jim. have a good night.

HermitJim said...

Hey Danin...
Thank you for the information...


Hey Off Grid...
Unfortunately, it is mostly false, as it turns out! My fault, as I did not check it out for accuracy first...I just posted it!

Tomorrow's posat will be an official apology for the "bullshit" as it was called!

I do appreciate the visit, my friend!

tjbbpgobIII said...

Hey Hermit, who cares if the info was false. It was a darn good story and one that I believe any military man would be proud of.

Kyddryn said...

Water conservation aboard ship is important, Mister hermit, sir - you never know when you'll have to wash your socks.

Shade and Sweetwater,
K (who is taking a break from some very wet racing - it's pouring rain here...again!!)