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USS Constitution

258 bytes added, 21:39, 11 July 2007
===HMS ''Guerriere''===
[[Image:Cornepainting.jpg|right|200px|thumb|''In Action'', depicting the battle between USS ''Constitution'' and HMS ''Guerriere'', by Michel Felice Corne (1812). This painting was one of four of the battle done under the direction of Captain Issac Hull.]]
During the war, ''Constitution'' ran the blockade at Boston on seven occasions and made five cruises ranging from Halifax, Nova Scotia, south to Guiana and east to [[Portugal]]. She captured, burned, or sent in as prizes nine merchantmen and five ships of war. Departing Boston on August 2 she sailed to the coast of Nova Scotia, where she captured and destroyed two British trading ships. Cruising off the Gulf of St. Lawrence on 19 August, she caught sight of ''Guerriere'', one of the ships which nearly captured her several weeks before. ''Guerriere'' opened the action, pouring out shot which fell harmlessly into the sea or glanced ineffectively from the hull of ''Constitution''; one of the cheering crew was heard to exclaim "Huzzah! Her sides are made of iron!" As the ships drew aside each other, Hull gave the command to fire and successive broadsides razed ''Guerriere's'' mizzen mast, damaging her foremast, and cut away most of her rigging. ''Guerriere's'' bowsprit fouled the lee rigging of ''Constitution'', and both sides attempted to board, but the heavy seas prevented it. As the ships separated ''Guerriere'' fired point blank into the cabin of ''Constitution'' and set it on fire, but the flames were quickly extinguished. ''Guerriere's'' foremast and mainmast went by the board and she was left a helpless hulk.