Daily Bread for 8.19.16 – 2017

Good morning, Whitewater.

Friday in town will be partly cloudy with a high of eighty-seven. Sunrise is 6:07 AM and sunset 7:49 PM, for 13h 42m 13s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 98.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

Painter Anton Otto Fischer depicts the first victory at sea by the fledgling US Navy over the Royal Navy.
Painter Anton Otto Fischer depicts the first victory at sea by the fledgling US Navy over the Royal Navy. Via Wikipedia.

On this day in 1812, during war with Britain, the U.S.S. Constitution defeats H.M.S. Guerriere:

A frigate was sighted on 19 August and subsequently determined to be HMS Guerriere (38) with the words “Not The Little Belt” painted on her foretopsail.[100][Note 3] Guerriere opened fire upon entering range of Constitution, doing little damage. After a few exchanges of cannon fire between the ships, Captain Hull maneuvered into an advantageous position and brought Constitutionto within 25 yards (23 m) of Guerriere. He then ordered a full double-loaded broadside fired of grape and round shot which took out Guerrieres mizzenmast.[101][102] With her mizzenmast dragging in the water, Guerrieres maneuverability decreased and she collided with Constitution, her bowsprit becoming entangled in Constitutions mizzen rigging. This left only Guerrieres bow guns capable of effective fire. Hull’s cabin caught fire from the shots, but the fire was quickly extinguished. With the ships locked together, both captains ordered boarding parties into action, but due to heavy seas, neither party was able to board the opposing ship.[103]

At one point, the two ships rotated together counter-clockwise, with Constitution continuing to fire broadsides. When the two ships pulled apart, the force of the bowsprit’s extraction sent shock waves through Guerrieres rigging. Her foremast soon collapsed, and that brought the mainmast down shortly afterward.[104] Guerriere was now a dismasted, unmanageable hulk, with close to a third of her crew wounded or killed, while Constitution remained largely intact. The British surrendered.[105]

Using his heavier broadsides and his ship’s sailing ability, Hull had managed to surprise the British. Adding to their astonishment, many of their shots rebounded harmlessly off Constitutions hull. An American sailor reportedly exclaimed “Huzzah! her sides are made of iron!” and Constitution acquired the nickname “Old Ironsides”.[106]

The battle left Guerriere so badly damaged that she was not worth towing to port. The next morning, after transferring the British prisoners onto Constitution, Hull ordered Guerriere burned.[107] Arriving back in Boston on 30 August, Hull and his crew found that news of their victory had spread fast, and they were hailed as heroes.[108]

JigZone ends the week with a colorful puzzle:

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