Friday, December 29, 2006


This Day in American History

On this day in 1812, starting at about 2 in the afternoon, the USS Constitution takes on HMS Java in a three hour battle 30 miles off the coast of Brazil. Commodore William Bainbridge, who was in command of "Old Ironsides," is wounded twice, and the ship's steering wheel is shot away; still he maneuvers masterfully and fights tenaciously until, finally, the Java has no masts left standing and her captain lays dying. The Brits suffer 130 casualties to the 40 Americans killed or wounded. The Java was so devastated it was not worth towing back to port for salvage and so was burned at sea. However, Bainbridge first has her wheel removed to replace the one shot away on the Consitution. This was the Constitution's toughest fight.

There is an excellent account of the battle in the Patrick O'Brien 'Aubrey-Maturin' novel The Fortunes of War.

I agree. I read or listened to "The Fortune of War." I am only one or two books away from the end of the series and have been putting off finishing them b/c when they are finished, they are finished.

I even got the unfinished 21st book. How pathetic is that literary junky-ism?
Not pathetic at all. I will probably borrow it from you.
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