Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: 'Sloop' & 'Sloop of War': original 1780 definitions

Expand Messages
  • ca_palumbo
    Gentlemen: Actually, one thing all sloops of war had in common, regardless of their differences or other defining characteristics, was a much smaller total
    Message 1 of 14 , Nov 19, 2012
    • 0 Attachment
      Gentlemen:

      Actually, one thing all sloops of war had in common, regardless of their differences or other defining characteristics, was a much smaller total number a guns than a frigate (typically around 20 or less, while frigates probably bottomed out at about 32, or certainly nothing less than 28). Thus, by the time of the civil war, major warships at least as large as the CONSTELLATION were carrying that designation because of how gun size and weight (as well as power) had increased while gun numbers decreased. One famous example was actually the flagship of Admiral Farragut throughout much of the war, the USS HARTFORD. Given that by 1854 the constellation had been essentially entirely rebuilt (under the auspices of an "overhaul")and regunned with a smaller battery of larger guns than what she had when first commissioned in the 1790's, the change in designation is not surprising. In any event, by that time the type was no longer the kind of minor combatant it had originally been.

      Moreover, like the word "frigate", the use of the term actually continued the 20th century in application to modern steam vessels of no real resemblance to their sailing predecessors, and came to denote a small surface combatant bigger than what was called a corvette but smaller than that called a frigate by the Royal Navy (at least, but never the US Navy), and used profitably in anti-submarine warfare. One prominent example were the FLOWER Class sloops of World War I (not to be confused with the FLOWER Class Corvettes of WWII, an entirely different class of ASW vessels). Exactly how these venerable terms came to be applied to small steel & steam navy surface combatants would be interesting to know.

      C.A. Palumbo
      Houston, Texas

      --- In Revlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Hilliard" <markhilliard@...> wrote:
      >
      > Dear Glenn, et al.,
      >
      > It seems that we were both partially correct. According to the 18th century Royal Navy:
      >
      > "SLOOP, a small vessel furnished with one mast, the main-sail of which is attached to a gaff above, to the mast on its foremost edge, and to a long boom below; by which it is occasionally shifted to either quarter. See VESSEL. "
      >
      > "SLOOP OF WAR, a name given to the smallest vessels of war, except cutters. They are either rigged as ships or as snows. See COMMAND, HORSE, and RATE. "
      >
      > "SNOW, (senau, Fr.) is generally the largest of all two-masted vessels employed by Europeans, and the most convenient for navigation.... [The Wikipedia page for "Snow (Ship)" features a from-life painting of a two-masted British Naval Snow by Charles Brooking, painted in 1759.] "
      > From: Dictionary of the Marine, or, a Copious Explanation of the Technical Terms and Phrases employed in the Construction, ...of a Ship...London: Thomas Cadell, 1780 edition.
      >
      > William Falconer was a purser in the Royal Navy and poet best known for his poem, the Shipwreck (1762). In 1769 he published his Universal Dictionary Marine. Later that same year he was drowned in the sinking of the frigate H.M.S. Aurora after the vessel left Cape Town. The Dictionary was reprinted in 1771, 1784, 1805 and in a much revised edition of 1815."
      >
      > http://southseas.nla.gov.au/index_reference.html
      >
      > Yr.s &c.,
      >
      > --Mark
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Glenn Williams
      > To: Revlist@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 9:01 AM
      > Subject: Re: [Revlist] Did Nathan Hale capture a Sloop?
      >
      >
      >
      > Dear Friends and Fellow Historians,
      >
      > As a former curator of the Civil War era sloop-of-war USS CONSTELLATION, and with an association with the ship that dates back to 1969 when I got my first paying part-time job, while a high school student, as a docent aboard her, and many of us believed her to be the 1797 frigate of the same name, I have to weigh in on this one.
      >
      > Mark's description of "sloop of war" is partially correct.
      >
      > As Mark states, a "sloop" in the age of fighting sail was a one-masted, fore and aft rigged vessel, usually rather small, not much greater than @ 30 feet stem to taffrail length in general.
      >
      > A "sloop-of-war," on the other hand, was a "ship," meaning "ship rigged" vessel, i.e., three masts and square rigged, with the entire battery of guns located on one deck, usually her "main" deck being the "spar" or "weather" deck, although it the guns could be on a separate "gun deck." As warships go, sloops-of-war were "un-rated," meaning below the frigate classes.
      >
      > A "frigate," was a ship-rigged (three masts and square rigged) vessel with batteries on a separate "gun deck" as well as on the "weather" deck. Frigates were divided into two classes, first and second (CONSTITUTION being an example of a "first class," and the first CONSTELLATION a "second class" frigate - of the US Navy's first six, there were three of each designed by Joshua Humphreys). Frigates were further defined as "fourth and fifth rate" warships, respectively. The reason for that distinction being that frigates, as the largest "below the line" (or less than ships-of-the-line) vessels, could take their place in the line of battle if necessary,
      >
      > Although a "sloop-of-war" by classification in the Civil War-ear, by the way, the 1854 USS CONSTELLATION, due to her size being larger than any other vessels of that class, was manned and equipped by the naval distribution tables of the day as a "razee frigate," kind of splitting the difference.
      >
      > I hope this helps.
      >
      > Cheers,
      >
      > Glenn
      >
      > --- On Tue, 3/23/10, Mark Hilliard <markhilliard@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > BTW, as I recall, in this time period "sloop" may mean either a vessel with one main mast using a fore-and-aft sail or, in a naval context, any vessel regardless of rig or size that has only one gun deck. The 1850s USS Constellation now in Baltimore was and is a "sloop of war," for example.
      >
      > Hope that helps,
      > --Mark
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: loh_mobius
      > To: Revlist@yahoogroups .com
      > Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 7:44 PM
      > Subject: [Revlist] Did Nathan Hale capture a Sloop?
      >
      > I once saw reference to Capt. Nathan Hale capturing a British sloop...but I have no idea where...or if it was just speculation or "fact".
      >
      >
      >
      > Visit Your Group
      > Visit the RevList Homepage, which includes a list of sutlers, RevList member photos, FAQ, etc., at
      >
      > http://www.liming.org/revlist/ or add your own links at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Revlist/
      >
      > To subscribe to Revlist, please go to the home page at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Revlist/ and click "Join This List."
      >
      > TO UNSUBSCRIBE: please send a message to
      > Revlist-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      > with "unsubscribe" in the subject line.
      >
      > Switch to: Text-Only, Daily Digest • Unsubscribe • Terms of Use
      >
      > .
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.