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now appeared, was the Maidstone 36, steerage of Old Ironsides. Mr. Morris Captain Burdett. The delay in answer was shortly after promoted for being the ing arose from a wish to gain time to clear first man on the Philadelphia's decks, as for action, and get to quarters, Old Iron was Mr. Izard, for other good and suffisides having got alongside so quietly that cient claims. The last of these officers she had been taken by surprise.
resigned about six years later, when first After passing the time mentioned, in lieutenant of the old craft, and we shall the vicinity of the Straits, the Constitu have occasion hereafter to speak of Mortion sailed in quest of declared enemies. ris's service on board her, in the same She left Gibraltar on the 13th November character. 1813, and proceeded first to Algiers, Having effected this important prelimiwhere she landed Colonel Lear, who had nary step, Preble set the ship in motion, come out as Consul General.' On the in good earnest. On the 2d of March she 20th she left Algiers, and on the 24th, sailed for Malta, arrived on the 3d, and while standing up the Mediterranean, on returned on the 17th. On the 20th she her way to Malta, she spoke an English sailed again for Tripoli, where she arrived frigate, which communicated a rumor, that in time to send in a flag on the 27th ; a the Philadelphia had run ashore, off Tri- day or two later she sailed for Tunis, enpoli, and had fallen into the hands of the countering a heavy gale on the passage, enemy. On reaching Malta, the 27th, and anchored in the bay on the 4th of while lying off the port, the unpleasant April. She left Tunis on the 7th, it blowrumor was confirmed. The ship stood on ing a gale from the northwest at the time, without anchoring, and arrived at Syra and reached Malta on the 12th; sailed cuse next day.
for Syracuse on the 14th, and arrived on Here, then, was Old Ironsides, for the the 15th. All these movements were first time, in the centre of the Mediterra made necessary, in order to keep Tunis nean, and with something serious to do; quiet, ascertain the state of things at Trimore, indeed, than could easily be accom poli and obtain supplies at Malta. Busiplished in a single ship. Her commander ness detained the ship at Syracuse until was as active a seaman as ever undertook the 20th, when she was again off. On an enterprise, and the career of the good the 29th the busy craft again touched at ship, for the next seven months, though Malta, having scoured along the enemy's she did not fire a shot in anger during coast, and on the 2d of May, less than a the whole time, was probably as remark month from her appearance, the Bey of able as that of any vessel which ever Tunis had the equivocal gratification of floated, and which encountered neither again seeing her in his harbor. War had enemies, shipwreck, nor accident of any been menaced, but peace succeeded this sort.
demonstration, and next day the ship was The Constitution lay until the 17th De off for Naples, where she arrived on the cember at Syracuse, when she sailed for 9th. The slow movements of the NeapoTripoli to look at her enemy, and to com litans kept the active vessel ten days in municate with the unfortunate command that magnificent gulf, when away she er of the Philadelphia. On the 23d the went for Messina, with an order to get Enterprise, Lieutenant Decatur, which some of the king's gun-boats on board her. was in company, captured a Tripolitan On the 25th she was at Messina, and on ketch, called the Mastico, or Mistico, with the 30th she left that place, going round seventy Turks of one sort and another on to Syracuse, where she anchored next board her, the prize being sent in. While day. On the 4th of June, the Constitulying off Tripoli, on the 26th, it came on tion was away once more for Malta, where to flow fiercely, and the stout ship had she anchored on the 6th, and on the 9th need of all her excellent qualities to claw she went to take another look at Tripoli. off shore. Her escape was somewhat nar A flag was sent in on the 13th to know row, but she went clear, and returned to the Bashaw's ultimatum, but that digniSyracuse.
tary refusing to accede to the terms offerFebruary 30, 1804, Preble sent the ed, the Constitution got her anchor next Mastico, now named the Intrepid, to Tri day, and went to Tunis the third and poli, on the well-known expedition to cut last time, accompanied by two of the out the Philadelphia. All the connection small vessels, as a hint to the Bey to reour ship had with this successful and bril main quiet. The demonstration succeedliant exploit, arose from the fact that her ed, and having reached Tunis on the 19th, commander ordered it, and four of her the ship left it on the 22d for Syracuse, midshipmen were of the party. These touched at Malta on the 24th, and reachyoung gentlemen were Messrs. Izard, ed her post on the 25th. On the 29th, Morris, Laws, and Davis, all of whom re away the frigate went again for Messina. turned safely, after their victory, to the arriving the 1st July, and sailing again
on the 9th for Syracuse and getting in the been mounted in her waist, and which same day.
were now manned by the marines, under Here was an activity almost without Captain Hall; musketry being of no aca parallel. Nor did it end here. On the count in the service she was on. These 14th the good old craft lifted her anchor six additional guns must have increased and went to sea; was in Malta on the her entire armament to - guns in broad16th ; left Malta on the 21st, and appear side, and all long ; viz., twenty-four ed off Tripoli, in company with all the twenty-fours below,
twelves on force that had by this time been collected, the quarter-deck and forecastle, and the in readiness to commence the war in ear six twenty-sixes just mentioned. nest. We know very well that Preble's The manner in which the Constitution extraordinary energy was at the bottom went into action that day has often been of all these ceaseless movements; but the the theme of praise. As she stood down good old ship must come in for all that to range along the rocks and batteries, share of the credit, which properly be and a harbor filled with armed craft, her longs to a most admirably constructed people were aloft rolling up the light canvas machine. If the reader will recur to our as coolly as if about to come to in peaceable dates he will find what was really done. times, nor was a gun fired until as near Between the 2d March and the 25th the rocks as was deemed prudent, when July, there are 145 days, or less than five she let the Turks have her larboard months. Between these dates, Old Iron broadside, sending the shot home as far sides left port eighteen times, without as the Bashaw's Castle. That was the first counting visits to different places where shotted broadside that Old Ironsides ever she did not anchor. The distances run discharged at an enemy: As she was were necessarily short, in some instances launched Sept. 20th, 1797, it follows that quite so, but the Mediterranean Sea was the good craft was just six years, ten actually crossed in its entire breadth months, and fourteen days old, ere she twice, and several of the passages were fired what may be called a shot in anger. hundreds of miles in length. The ship No occasion had occurred on her previous that is in and out of port three times a service to bring the vessel herself alongmonth-and four times would be nearer side of an enemy, and here she was now the true proportion of the Constitution's commencing the brilliant part of her movements—cannot be called idle; and career, on the coast of Barbary, the very our good craft, on all occasions, did her service for which she had been originally part of the duty admirably well.
designed, though against a different prince. It was not favorable weather for an The ship kept ranging along the rocks, choring until the 28th, when Preble fetch mole and batteries, often as near as within ed up with all his squadron, which now two cables' length of the first, and three consisted of fifteen sail, of one sort and of the last, silencing every thing that she another of fighting craft, with Old Iron could get fairly under her guns, so long as sides at their
head. The good frigate lay she lay opposed to it. The flotilla withabout a league from Tripoli, and the par in the rocks, in particular, was the object ties had now a good opportunity of looking of her attentions, and she made great havoc at each other. The same day, however, a among its people by means of grape. It gale came on, and sent every thing out into was when tacking or wearing, that the the offing again ; and it was August 3d Constitution was most exposed, having no before Preble brought his force in again. vessel of any size to cover her. It will
The 3d August, 1804, will ever be me be remembered that Tripoli mounted one morable in American naval annals. It hundred and forty-five pieces of heavy was the day on which Preble first attack ordnance, behind stone walls, in addition ed the batteries of Tripoli, and on which to a large number of guns she had afloat, Decatur made his celebrated hand-to-hand many of which were of as heavy calibre assault on the gun-boats, that had ven as any possessed by the Americans. At tured to take up an anchorage outside the half-past four, the smaller vessels began rocks. It does not come within the scope to retire, covered by a blazing fire from of our plan to give the particulars of the the Constitution ; and a quarter of an hour whole of this desperate engagement, and we later, the frigate herself hauled off the shall confine ourselves principallyto the part land, and went out of action. In this, that was borne in it by the subject of our which may be termed her debut in active sketch. The battle itself began at three warfare, our favorite ship escaped singuquarters past two P. M., but it was a little larly well, considering the odds with which later before Old Ironsides took a part in she had to contend, and the circumthe fray. It ought to be mentioned here, stances under which she fought. In all that this ship had taken on board six that service before Tripoli, she fought at long twenty-sixes at Syracuse, which had great disadvantage, being held at precisely
the distance that batteries wish to keep coming out from the northward, it was ships, by the rocks, within which it would thought imprudent to carry her as near have been madness for a single frigate to the rocks as would be necessary to render enter. The nearer a vessel can get to bat her fire efficient, since the loss of a mast teries the better; not only on account of might have thrown her ashore. The 7th the greater effect of their shot on walls, was the day on which Caldwell was blown but on account of the advantages it gives up. Although the ship herself did not by placing them within her range of fewer fire a shot that day, many of her people guns.
were in the thickest of the fight. The Although Old Ironsides was two full gun-boats and ketches received crews from hours under fire, on the 3d August, time the other vessels whenever they went into enough to have cut her into splinters, at action, and that day, besides having her the distance at which she was fought, and boats out in numbers, the Constitution the number of guns that
were brought to put Mr. Wadsworth in No. 6, Trippe's bear on her, had the Turkish gunnery boat, as her commander. The lateen yard been better than it was, she suffered very of this boat was shot away in the action. little, and not at all in her hull. One Although the frigate did not engage, she twenty-four pound shot passed through kept so close in, directly to windward, as the centre of her mainmast, thirty feet to overawe the Tripolitan flotilla, and keep above the deck; her main-royal-yard was them within the rocks. On the evening shot away altogether; two lower shrouds of the 7th, Chauncy joined from America, and two back-stays were also shot away ; in the John Adams, armed en flute. The and the running rigging, and sails gene 28th was intended to be a day of special rally, were a good deal cut. One heavy attack. All the boats of the squadron shot, supposed to have been a thirty-two, were manned and armed and sent to reentered a stern port as the ship was wear main by the small vessels, in case the ing, and when she was most exposed, flotilla, which had shown some signs of passed quite near to Preble, some accounts a determination of coming to close quarsay actually beneath his leg, as he stood ters again, should put the intention in with it raised on the port sill, struck the execution. To supply the places of those breech of one of the quarter-deck twelves, who left the ship, Chauncy joined her which it damaged materially, and broke with several officers and about seventy into fragments, that flew forward into the seamen of the John Adams, and did duty waist, along a deck crowded with men, of as Preble's captain. Lieut.-Com. Dent whom only one was injured. Here was also came on board—the ketches not enthe old ship's luck!-a good fortune or a gaging—and took charge of the quarterprovidential care, as men may choose to deck. Izard, too, then a lieutenant on regard the spirit of providential interfer board the Scourge, which was not engaged, ences, that has more or less attended the came on board his old ship. Wadsworth craft in all her subsequent battles and ad continued in No. 6, and Gordon took ventures. The man who was first wound charge of No. 2, for the occasion. These ed in battle, on the deck of Old Ironsides, changes made, the vessel was ready to deserves to have his name recorded. It engage. was Charles Young, a marine, who had The 28th was the day, when the attack his elbow shattered by one of the frag commenced early in the morning ; before ments of the shot just mentioned. On it was light, indeed. For this purpose the this occasion, both Mr. Dent and Mr. American flotilla went quite close to the Robinson were out of the ship. The rocks, and began their fire through the former had been transferred to the openings. The brigs and schooners kept Scourge, but commanded one of the bomb under way, near at hand, to cover them ketches in the attacks; while the other, against any assaults from the enemy's who had succeeded, as acting-captain of boats, galleys, &c. All the Constitution's the frigate, commanded the other. Charles boats went in with the gun-boats, and Gordon was now the first lieutenant, and were under fire from the first. As the did duty as such in the action, while day dawned, Old Ironsides weighed anJumping Billy handled Old Ironsides un chor, and stood in towards the town. Her der fire as he would have handled her in approach was in the most admirable style, an American port.
and Fort English, the Bashaw's Castle, The Constitution herself had no particu the Crown, and Mole Batteries, all opened lar agency in the affairs which occurred upon her, as soon as she came within between the 3d and the 28th August, range. The signal was now made for the though many of her officers and people gun-boats to withdraw, and for the brigs were engaged. On the 7th, she lifted and schooners to take them in tow. Old her anchor and stood in with an intention Ironsides then took the game into her own to mingle in the combat, but the wind hands, to cover the retreat, and may be
said to have fought Tripoli single-handed. all hands went to work to repair daShe ranged along within two cables' length mages. of the rocks, and opened with round and On the 22 September, Preble got the grape on thirteen of the Turkish galleys whole squadron under way at 4 P. M., and gun-boats, which had just been pretty and kept it so all night. A little before closely engaged with the American. For midnight, the Constitution made a general a few minutes the good old craft was a signal to clear for action. At half past perfect blaze of fire, and she soon sunk two next day, another signal was made one boat, drove two more ashore to keep to the gun-boats, then in tow of different from sinking, and scattered all the rest. vessels, to cast off, advance upon the enemy Not satisfied with this, on went the fri and commence an attack, which was done, gate, until she got off the Mole, and within in the direction of Fort English, or well musket shot, when she hove to and sent to windward, while the ketches went ten broadsides into the different works. nearer the town, and further to the westThree hundred round shot alone were ward, and opened with their mortars. fired, to say nothing of large quantities of All the brigs and schooners were pressing grape and canister.
After having been the enemy, at the harbor's mouth, or warmly engaged for near an hour, the cannonading Fort English, while the flotilla being by this time out of danger, Bashaw's Castle, the Crown, Mole and the gallant frigate herself filled and haul- . other batteries kept up a heavy fire ed proudly off the land, disdaining to fire on the ketches, which were in great any longer than she chose to engage. danger; that commanded by Lieut.
Such work as this ought not to have Com. Robinson, being with difficulty kept been done by any single ship that ever from sinking. In order to cover these floated, without her being cut to pieces. vessels, Old Ironsides now ran down inNevertheless Old Ironsides was not really
side of them and brought to, within range hulled; or if hulled at all, it was in a way of grape as before, where she let fly eleven so slight and peculiar as to induce Preble broadsides into the works. The berth of to report her as not having been hulled. the good frigate was a warm one, as no Not a man on board her was injured, less than seventy guns, or more than douthough grape was sticking in her side. and ble her own number in broadside, bore on had passed through her sails in consider her at the same time, and they, too, all able quantities. Three lower shrouds, two mounted behind stone walls. At half spring-stays, two topmast back-stays, past 4, the wind had commenced hauling and the trusses, chains and lists of the to the northward, when Preble made a main-yard were all shot away, the run signal for every thing to get away the ning rigging suffered materially, and seve land, and he hauled off into offing with ral round shot went through the canvas, his own ship. On this occasion the Turks but not a man
An anchor threw a good many shells, besides round stock was shot away, and the larboard and grape, at Old Ironsides. One of these bower cable was cut. We think it probable shells hit the back of the main-topsail, that this last shot was the one which hit and nearly tore the sail in two. It was her figure-head. As Preble reports she got into the top, however, and the sailwas not hulled, meaning doubtless struck makers went to work on it, in the midst fairly in her main body by a round shot, of the fray. Another shell went through and both an anchor stock and a cable were the fore-topsail, and a third through the hit, it follows that the shot or shots which jib; making big holes, but doing no more did this mischief must have passed ahead. harm. All the sails were much cut up, as Owing to the manner in which the ship was the running rigging, by round shot. lay exposed to guns at different points, The mainsheet, foretack, lifts, braces and nothing was more likely to occur than bowlines were all hit, but nothing larger this. At all events it is known that Old than grape touched the hull. As on the Ironsides then carried an image of lJercu 7th, not a man was hurt! les, with his club, as her figure-head, and When grape shot nearly bury themthat the head of this figure was knocked selves in the bends of such a ship as the away, or materially injured before Tripoli
. Constitution, and she is fairly within the A canvas covering was put on to conceal range of batteries, it is almost marvellous the blemish, and continued there for sonie to think, that a vessel could be thus exmonths. Chauncy did good service that posed, on three several occasions, and have day, and has thus left his name con but one man hurt. This was the last action nected with the history of the gallant in which the frigate was engaged in that
At 11 in the forenoon, after such a war, however, and it is certain that in her morning's work, the Constitution anchor three engagements with the batteries, and ed safely about five miles from the town, fighting not only against such odds, but with all the squadron around her, when under such disadvantages, she had but the
single marine already named, Charles afterwards joined her, and on the 24th, Young, injured on her decks.
Old Ironsides took an armed xebeck, and The attempt with the Infernal came two Neapolitans her prizes, that were ennext, and in her went Wadsworth and deavoring to enter the port. Not long Israel, with six of the Constitution's crew, after, the ship went to Malta. to man the cutter. Somers had the Nau On the 22d May, Commodore Barron tilus' boat, and four of his own men. All formally transferred the command of the were lost of course, which made the total squadron to Rodgers, who hoisted a penloss of the frigate out of her proper crew, nant once more on board Old Ironsides. while engaged before Tripoli, only two Commodore Rodgers had now the choice lieutenants and six men killed, and one between the sister vessels, the President marine wounded. The whole of the im and Constitution, but he chose to keep the portant service, indeed, effected by Preble, one he was in. in his memorable forty days of active ope As the active season was at hand, it berations before the town, cost the country came necessary now to treat, or to prebut thirty killed, and twenty-four wound pare for another series of offensive operaed. Among those who fell, were one com tions. Col. Lear had been sent for by the mander, four lieutenants, and one mid Essex, and the Constitution going off Trishipman ; and among the wounded, one poli, the negotiations commenced which captain (Decatur), and one lieutenant. terminated in the desired peace, the end On the 10th, Com. Barron arrived with
of all war.
Nations go to war because the President and Constellation, to relieve they are at peace, and they make peace Preble. On the 12th, the Constitution because they are at war! The negoticaptured two Greek ships, loaded with ations that terminated the war with Triwheat, that were trying to force the block poli, took place in the cabin of Old Ironade, and Barron sent the frigate to Malta, sides. She had come late into the conflict, with her prizes, where'she arrived De but had done more to bring it to a conclucember 17th. Soon after reaching Malta, sion, than all the frigates that had prethe command of Old Ironsides was trans ceded her, and was fated to see the end. ferred to Decatur, Preble returning home It is said that this was the first treaty in the John Adams.
ever concluded with one of the States of The active service of the war, so far as Barbary, on shipboard.
It was the larger vessels were concerned, had tainly a striking event for a hostile vessel now terminated, though the blockade was to be thus employed, and proved the immaintained by different vessels. Deca pressions which recent occurrences had tur's command of the Constitution was of made on the usually haughty Turk. The short continuance, Rodgers claiming her, treaty was signed on shore by the Bashaw, on account of rank, and exchanging her however, and June 3d a copy was for his old ship, the Congress. The trans brought by the Danish Consul, Nissen, fer was made at Syracuse on the 6th on board the Constitution, and delivered November
to Col. Lear and Rodgers. Old Ironsides By this time Old Ironsides had used up, now exchanged salutes with the town, transferred, or lost, one way with another, and thus ended the war with Tripoli, after about eighty of her original crew, and more than four years' continuance. Barron ordered her to Lisbon, to pick up The occupation of the good craft did others there, if possible, assigning impor- not cease, however, with the arrangement tant duties to her near the Straits. The with the Bashaw, nor was she destined to ship left Syracuse, November 27th, and return to this hemisphere for some time having touched at Gibraltar and Tangiers, longer. The Bey of Tunis had manifested anchored before the town of Lisbon, De a warlike disposition for a long time, and cember 28th. It was February 5th, be a strong force being now in the Mediterfore the men were picked up, when the ranean, Rodgers saw that the present was ship sailed from Lisbon, and remaining off a good occasion to bring that difficulty to Tangiers, and about the Straits, for a few a conclusion also. He had collected most days, she proceeded aloft, again, and of his vessels at Syracuse, where the Conjoined the squadron at Malta, on the 25th stitution arrived about the middle of June. of the same month. Soon after she went At a later day the squadron passed over off Tripoli, her old scene of glory, but re to Malta, and July 23d, 1805, Old Ironturned by orders within the month. By sides sailed from Malta, leading a squadthis time the health of Barron was so bad, ron, composed of three other frigates, a as to render Rodgers the efficient com brig, two schooners, a sloop, and several mander of the squadron, and the ship large, American-built gun-boats, that had went off Tripoli, once more, coming in actually crossed the ocean that summer. sight of the place, April 5th, 1805. The The Congress and Vixen were already off President, under Commander Cox, soon the port, making, when every thing was