Chesapeake Affair

At some point in this exchange it becomes apparent to the Commodore that Leopard has open gun ports and might be serious. He instructs Captain Gordon to clear for action as quietly as possible.

The actions on board Chesapeake as she prepares for action do not go unobserved, a shot is sent across her bow, followed in a minute’s time by another,  at 4:30 pm Leopard pours in a broadside.

The roar of cannon, the impact of iron ball on wooden hull rocking the ship, splinters, smoke, the smell of gunpowder, all of this along with the inability to respond with a broadside of their own must have been a great shock to the men of  the Chesapeake. Not a powder horn was full, no wick nor ram to be found, loggerhead, powered, even cartridge where all stow.

Still the crew worked at the impossible task at hand, the ship was taking damage, the wounded mounting. Lieutenant Allen appeared from the galley carrying a live coal for; there was not a match to be found. Coal applied to the one gun brave men had been able to load, she boomed out in defiance, only to be answered by another full broadside.