What It Was Like To Be Shot Up By ‘old Ironsides’

In an hour the Constitution cut the rigging and sails of the Cyane to pieces.

WE HAVE , of course, far more detailed accounts of the action from the American side but perhaps none so vivid. From a trim fighting ship the Cyane was quickly reduced to a drifting hulk, guns put out of action and with masts, rigging, and sails so broken and shot up that the ship was uncontrollable. Yet to the modern reader, the most remarkable omission in the log is that no details are given of the sailors killed and injured, though the very human term wounded is used of damaged yards (the crossbars from which the sails hang).