A fifteen man gun crew consists of:� 1st and 2nd Gun Captains, 1st and 2nd Spongers, 1st and 2nd loaders, a shot man, a train tackle man, 5 trainers (side tackles, crow and handspikes, pass rounds), a powder boy and a Midshipman.� Arranged as follows: facing back of gun; left side from front to back 1st loader, second loader, shot and side tackle man, side tackle man, handspike and side tackle man.� Right side - 1st sponger, 2d sponger, side tackle man, 2nd gun captain and linstock, handspike and side tackle man, and train tackle man.� Centered behind the gun is the 1st gun captain, behind and to his left is the powder boy and directly behind the 1st gun captain is the midshipman.�Gun crews ranged from 9 to 15 men.� �According to an interpretive manual for Constitution, "The naval gun drill commands used are based on Ayde's The Bombardier, and Pocket Gunner, Blunt's Seamanship in Theory and Practice, Marshall's,Practical Marine Gunner, and a
letter from the Secretary of the Navy (13 January 1821) trasnitting "Rules, Regulations, and Instruction for the Naval Service of the United States".� The train tackle man upon the command to "Cast Loose your Guns"� hooks on the train tackle and is assisted by the other trainers when the command to "Run In" is given.� Once run in, the train tackle man chokes off the train tackle to prevent the gun from running out.� Once fired, of course, recoil ran it back in.� Duties such as "fireman" etc. were secondary responsibilities unrelated to the gun.� Those gun crews designated "2nd" were assigned to prepare the unengaged sides gun when ordered.� They would also replace their 1st counterpart if incapcitated.� Not part of the gun crew was the 16th man, a U.S. Marine with loaded musket and fixed bayonet to insure the gun crew remained at their stations.� Constitution is rated as a 44 gun frigate.� However, she almost always carried more than 44 guns
sometimes up to 60.� Currently she is configured with 54 guns.� Thirty -two 24lb long guns are�on the gun deck, twenty 32 lb carronades �and two 24 lb bow chasers are�on the spar deck.� For great info on the "oldest commisioned warship in the world, still afloat see "A Most Fortuante Ship: A Narrative History of "Old Ironsides" by Cmdr.Tyrone G. Martin.
YHOS, Pvt. R. R. White, 1812 Marine Guard, U.S.S. Constitution.
----- Original Message ----
From: Michael Warner <mwarner51@...
Sent: Tuesday, July 8, 2008 12:38:51 PM
Subject: 1812 Large Gun Crew question
A USS Constitution website staes that there were as many as "a
midshipman to command fourteen of her fifteen gun-deck 24-pounders
with a typical gun crew of twelve men and a powder boy."
navy.mil/ library/online/ consitutiongunde ck.htm
Then it shows a bill listing as follows ...
Gun #12 � Gun Deck
1st Rammer (or Loader)
2nd Rammer (or Loader)
3rd Rammer (or Loader)
Train / Tackle
Pajs (unreadable/ spelling? ) Powder
And a Powder Boy
How close is this to what reenactors know?
The fireman would - what? Man a bucket?
Would there not be 3 on the tackle?
And what would that 2nd and last positions be that I cannot read.
Any and all help is appreciated.
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