Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 4.djvu/19

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

encumbered, and that the crew had not been exercised at the guns; but they were not warranted in detaining her on that account, especially since the guns could be better exercised at sea, and the ship was already four months behind time. Accordingly, June 21, Commodore Barron came on board, and at four o'clock in the afternoon the "Chesapeake" weighed anchor and stood down the Roads; at six o'clock she came to, dropped anchor, called all hands to quarters, and prepared to start for sea the next morning. From Lynnhaven Bay the "Leopard," which had arrived from Halifax only a few hours before, could watch every movement of the American frigate.

At a quarter-past seven o'clock on the morning of June 22 the "Chesapeake" got under way with a fair breeze. Her ship's company numbered three hundred and seventy-five men and boys, all told, but, as was not uncommon in leaving port, much sickness prevailed among the crew, and by the doctor's order the sick seamen were allowed to lie in the sun and air on the upper deck. The gun-deck between the guns was encumbered with lumber of one sort or another; the cables were not yet stowed away; four of the guns did not fit quite perfectly to their carriages, and needed a few blows with a maul to drive the trunnions home, but this defect escaped the eye; in the magazine the gunner had reported the powderhorns, used in priming the guns, as filled, whereas only five were in fact filled. Otherwise the ship,