Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 4.djvu/18

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8
Ch. 1.
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

wrote[1] at once to the secretary, "that from the extreme cleanliness and order in which I found her I am convinced that Captain Gordon and his officers must have used great exertions. Captain Gordon speaks in high terms of his lieutenants. The state of the ship proves the justice of his encomiums."

Nevertheless much remained to be done, and in spite of the secretary's urgency the ship was still delayed in Hampton Roads. From June 6 to June 19, notwithstanding bad weather, the whole ship's company were hard worked. The guns were taken on board and fitted; water was got in; spars and rigging had to be overhauled, and stores for four hundred men on a three-years cruise were shipped. June 19 the guns were all fitted, and the crew could for the first time be assigned to their stations at quarters. According to the custom of the service, the guns were charged with powder and shot. They had no locks, and were fired by the old-fashioned slow-match, or by loggerheads kept in the magazine and heated red-hot in the galley fire whenever need for them arose.

June 19 Captain Gordon considered the ship ready for sea, and wrote to the commodore on shore,[2] "We are unmoored and ready for weighing the first fair wind." Both Captain Gordon and Commodore Barron were aware that the decks were more or less

  1. Barron to the Secretary of the Navy, June 6, 1807; Court-martial, p. 371.
  2. Gordon to Barron, June 19, 1807, p. 367.