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Old 02-10-2011, 04:00 PM
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Default Old Iron Sides

A member on another forum submitted this, I found it interesting.

My wife is a historian and family history researcher. She gave me this out of a publication she subscribes to.

The U.S.S. Constitution (Old Iron Sides), a combat ship went on a mission July 27, 1798 with a crew of officers and sailors of 475. She carried 48,600 gallons of fresh water, 7,400 cannon shot, 11,600 pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum for a 6 month cruse. Her mission: destroy and harass English shipping.

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

She arived in the Azores Nov 12 and took on 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of Portuguese wine.

On Nov 18 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 on board each vessel

By Jan 26 her powder and shot were exhausted. Never the less, 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 Feb 20 1799 with no cannon shot, no food, no powder, no rum, no whisky, and 38,600 gallons of water.

By my figures each person on board consumed 1.36 gallons of adult beverage per day and that does not include the rum on the captured and scuttled vessels. The average could have been double or more the 1.36 gallons considering they all carried as much as the Constitution did.

What a merry band of sailors and officers were on that ship and it may have taken weeks for them to sober up. I bet they were up for the next cruise with high anticipation.

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