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Constellation

2401
Nominal Guns38DANFS
NationalityUnited States of America
OperatorUnited States Navy
Ordered17.3.1794DANFS
Keel Laid Down1796ref:740
Launched27.3.1797DANFS
First Commissioned6.1798ref:740
How acquiredPurpose builtDANFS
ShipyardBaltimore - Maryland DANFS
Ship ClassConstellation Class (1796)DANFS
Designed by
Joshua HumphreysAmerican
Designer
Ship Builder
Service 1751
DANFS
Constructor
David StodderAmerican
Ship Builder
Service 1748
DANFS
CategoryFifth RateDANFS
Ship TypeFrigateDANFS
Sailing RigShip RiggedDANFS
Broken Up1853DANFS

Dimensions


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentDANFS
Length of Gundeck164' 0"Imperial Feet49.9872 
Breadth41' 0"Imperial Feet12.4968 
Depth in Hold13' 6"Imperial Feet4.0132 
Burthen1,278Tons BM 

Armament


1797Broadside Weight = 396 Imperial Pound ( 179.586 kg)B043
Gun Deck28 American 24 Pounder
Spardeck10 American 12-Pounder

5.1799Broadside Weight = 372 Imperial Pound ( 168.702 kg)B043
Gun Deck28 American 18 Pounder
Spardeck10 American 24-Pound Carronade

Crew Complement


Date# of MenNotesSource
1797340EstablishmentDANFS

6 Ship Commanders


DatesRankNameSource
1798 - 1799Captain
Thomas TruxtunAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1748-1848
DANFS
1799Captain
Samuel BarronAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1749-1810
DANFS
1799 - 1805Captain
Thomas TruxtunAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1748-1848
DANFS
1813Captain
Charles StewartAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1798-1842
DANFS
1832 - 3.12.1832Captain
George C. ReedAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1832
ref:824
1.1834 - 1834Captain
George Campbell ReadAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1804-1862
USNR-1834

1 Flag Officer


DatesRankNameSource
12.11.1819 - 20.4.1820Commodore
Charles MorrisAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1799-1841
DANFS

11 Commissioned Officers


DatesRankNameSource
25.3.1798 - 1800Lieutenant
Andrew SterretAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1778-1807
E-WIKI
8.11.1798 - Lieutenant
John ArcherAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1801
ref:1203
1799First Lieutenant
John RodgersAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1798-1837
DANFS
1799Midshipman
Thomas MacdonoughAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1770-1804
DANFS
1799Midshipman
David PorterAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1798-1826
B043
1799 - 2.1800Midshipman
Samuel AngusAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1799-1824
DANFS
1834Midshipman
Augustus S BaldwinAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1829-1876
LOUSNMC
1.1834 - 1834Lieutenant
David R StewartAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1814
USNR-1834
1.1834 - 1834Lieutenant
John RuddAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1814
USNR-1834
1.1834 - 1834Lieutenant
Andrew K LongAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1818
USNR-1834
1.1834 - 1834Lieutenant
Neil M HowisonAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1823
USNR-1834

3 Warrant Officers


DatesRankNameSource
9.3.1798Surgeon
George BalfourAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1798
ref:1203
12.11.1798 - 14.1.1799Boatswain
John AllenAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1798-1799
ref:1203
1.6.1801 - 30.11.1801Boatswain
Joseph AllenAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1801
ref:1203

4 Petty Officers


DatesRatingNameSource
1799 - 2.2.1800Midshipman
James C JarvisAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1749-1800
1799Master's Mate
William AndersonAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1799
ref:1203
1821Surgeon's Mate
William D BabbitAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1790-1890
USNR-1821
1821Surgeon's Mate
David N MahonAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1790-1890
USNR-1821

3 Marines


DatesRankNameSource
16.3.1801 - 1801Marine Private
Israel FithianAmerican
Marine
Service 1800-1801
ref:1144
14.1.1802 - 12.3.1802Marine Private
Benjamin CarringtonAmerican
Marine
Service 1799-1803
ref:1144
14.1.1802 - 2.5.1802Marine Corporal
William BryantAmerican
Marine
Service 1799-1802
ref:1144

Service History


DateEventSource
12.1798Departed for the Caribbean
9.2.1799Constellation vs Insurgente
9.2.1799Took the Frigate
L'Insurgente (32) 1793-1799
French 32 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
TNC
12.2.1799

Arrived at Basseterre with her prize l'Insurgent.

TNC
12.1799Sailed to patrol the West Indies
12.1799Took the Privateer
Le Diligent 1799-1799
French Privateer

12.1799Took the Privateer
L'Union 1799-1799
French Privateer

1.2.1800Constellation vs Vengeance
5.1800Recaptured three American Merchantmen from the French
21.6.1800Arrived at St. ChristopherB043
7.1800Ordered to San Domingo to relieve the
Constitutie (24) 1799-1815
Dutch 24 Gun
Unrated Transport

10.4.1801Anchored in Delaware Bay and laid over on her beams, which required extensive repair
5.1802Blockade of Tripoli habour
1812Underwent partial rebuild, 14" added to her Beam
1.1813Blockaded in Hampton Roads, Virginia by British blockade Squadron
20.5.1815Left New York for the Mediterranean
17.6.1815Shared in capture of Algerian Frigate Mashuda (46)
12.1817Returned to Hampton Roads
12.11.1819Became flagship on the Brazil Station
1827Acted as flagship for the West Indies Squadron
8.1829Cruised for the Mediterranean
11.1831Returned to the USA
4.1832Returned to the Mediterranean
11.1834Returned home after an outbreak of cholera
10.1835Took part in crushing the Seminole uprising in the Gulf of Mexico


Fleets

DatesFleetFleet CommanderSource
1802-1803American Mediterranean Squadron 1802-1803
Richard V MorrisAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1749-1849
 
1804-1805American Mediterranean Squadron 1804-1805
Samuel BarronAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1749-1810
 
1805-1806American Mediterranean Squadron 1805-1806
John RodgersAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1798-1837
 

Notes on Ship


Casualties from the VengeanceB043
The Constellation lost fourteen killed and twenty-five wounded, of whom eleven died of their wounds

 

Previous comments on this page

Posted by Barry J. Fox on Friday 5th of November 2021 18:47

Spencer Tucker, in his "Arming the Fleet: U.S. Navy ordnance in the Muzzle-Loading Era," noted that the U.S.S. Constellation was armed with "short" 24# for her battle with L'Insurgente. I've always considered these to be a cross between a long gun and a carronade. The Danes, Swedes, and Russians all used them. I've seen a few things about the U.S. Navy using Columbiads during this period. That said, they were designed as "shell" guns, so I doubt that Constellation's 24#s were any more than lighter 24# guns, with probably less range. Obviously, after switching to 18# guns, for her next fight, she carried ten 24# carronades as well, whereas she had 12# long guns for secondary armament before.


Posted by Brian Stephens on Monday 14th of April 2014 17:42

Providence Gazette July 3, 1813
BATTLE OF THE GUN-BOATS IN HAMPTON ROADS.
Letter from Camp near Armated, Norfolk, June 21
I take up my pen to inform you of an action that took place in Hampton Roads yesterday morning, between our gun-boats at this place and a British frigate. On Saturday tow frigates and a 74 came into the Roads, one frigate within 8 or 10 miles of this place and the other frigate within 3 miles of her, and the 74 about the same distance below the last and there anchored. On Saturday night, 14 gun-boats left this place manned by the Constellation's crew, for the purpose of driving them from their moorings; the wind was calm, and everything in favour of our flotilla; they arrived within gun shot of the highest frigate and commenced action at reveille, at about 3 1/2 hours when the wind springing up, obliged our boats to retire, as the frigate and 74 below had come up to her assistance, after completely silencing her, and having torn her almost to pieces, as it appears by the report of those that saw the action from Sewal Point. After the action the men on board the frigate were seen on every part of the ship, taking in sails and bending new ones and on the sides plugging up shot holes having received many shot holes below the water. There are now in the Roads 8 ships of the line, and from 10 to 12 frigates. There is 30 sail in the Bay and Roads. The killed and wounded on board the gun-boats were one filled and three wounded.

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