The USS 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. However, let it be noted that according to her log:
“On July 22, 1798, the USS Constitution sailed from Boston with a
full complement of 475 officers and men, 48,600 gallons of fresh water,
7,400 cannonshot, 11,600 pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of
Her mission: “To destroy and harass English shipping.”
Making Jamaica on 6 October, 1798 she took on 826 pounds of flour and
68,300 gallons of rum. Then she headed for the Azores, arriving there
12 November, 1798. She provisioned with 550 pounds of beef, and 64,300
gallons of Portuguese wine. On 18 November, 1798 she set sail for
England. In the ensuing days, she defeated five British men-of-war, and
captured and scuttled 12 English merchantmen, salvaging only the rum
By 26 January, 1799 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 a single malt Scotch aboard by dawn.
Then, she headed home.
The USS Constitution arrived in Boston on 20 February, 1799 with no
cannon shot, no food, no powder, no rum, no wine, no whisky and 38,600
gallons of stagnant water.
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