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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 and79,400 gallons of rum.”

Her mission: “To destroy and harass English shipping.”

Making Jamaica on 6 October, she took on 826 pounds of flour and68,300 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 rumaboard 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, and38,600 gallons of water.

79,400 + 68,300+ 64,300 + 40,000  = 252,000 gallons of liquor

July 27 to Feb 20 is 208 days

252,000 gallons of liquor / 475 men / 208 days = 2.55 gallons per day

According to common sense there is no possible way that anyone on that ship drank 2.55 gallons of hard liquor in a single day, let alone every day for 208 days.

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Originally posted 2010-04-19 12:00:10. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

  • Craven (Not Wes)

    It is quite possible!
    2 gallons of rum per day was nothing to these hardworking American sailors!
    The article neglects to inform us that “old Ironsides” sailed up the Thames (that’s a river in England), sank four more British Man-O-Wars, and captured the Tower of London, which they commandeered for 3 days.
    They held the Tower’s “beefeaters” as prisoners and made them load aboard 27,000 gallons of the famous “BeefEater” gin.
    George III was outraged, and swore revenge, particularly after his wife, the queen, was violated by some American sailors. This is not generally reported by history books, as we Americans do not wish to offend the more delicate British folks.

  • Ol’ Curmudgeon

    What’s worse, these gallant Americans atacked London once.
    In addition to stealing a lot of Beefeater Gin, they samk Lord Nelson’s original flagship.
    He cowered as they gave him and his pantywaist crew volley after volley!
    Lord Nelson sent over a rowboat full of his prize brandy to ol’ Ironsides, hoping they would cease the attack.
    It was only when they ran out of ammunition they ceased to attack. But they gratefully accepted this 9000 gallons of refreshment.
    Ya know it’s a tribute to us Americans that we are the world’s greatest heroes! Both in the eyes of mankind, and of our Holy Saviour (who may have been an American).
    AMERICA ROCKS! Let the world know!

  • Johhny Foreigner

    It’s a tribute to America that you are so gullible.

    Check your facts boys…or rather lack of them.

    Don’t be so eager to be the best at everything in your own eyes without a proper comparison.

    If a story sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    It’s a good job your generals don’t jump to conclusions like you do….they’d never win any battles.

  • Stoney

    Just stumbled on this tale here (seen it before) and am inclined to point out The Truth:

    Old Ironsides never attacked British ships during July 1798-Jan 1799 because we weren’t at war with England! We were involved in the Quasi-War with France and the Brits would be mightly unhappy with our seizing their ships.

    Her maiden voyage was 22 July 98 and stayed in the eastern Seaboard and West Indies until 1801.

    During the War of 1812, ‘Ironsides’ never went to England but patrolled Brazil, our East Coast and the Caribbean areas.

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