Jul 21

Special Tour of the USS Constitution’s Powder Magazine and Filling Room

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 12:01 AM


  • Don Chappell

    Excellent job guys. I loved seeing parts of the ship not normally viewed and the excellent explanation of how the magazine were worked. Never realized that the magazine was lined w/ copper.

  • I am reserving my virtual tour for a moment when I can take a breather, but spotted this and wanted to thank you for making it available. I have a special interest in Old Ironsides because I am a descendant (through my mother, Martha Bush Clark Kingsley) of Lt. William Sharp Bush, who died child-less so he’d be my GreatX4-Uncle; he was shot in the face leading a charge onto the HMS Guerriere from the Constitution, August 19, 1812, apparently the first U.S. Marine officer to be killed in combat [C:\Users\ML\Documents\Wm S Bush\The Marine Guard.mht “The Marine Guard/ The Captain Speaks”: “On 19 August 1812, Constitution duelled with the British frigate Guerriere in a closely fought action that twice had the two ships entangled by their rigging. On the second occasion, First Lieutenant William Sharp Bush, officer in charge of the Marine Guard, leaped atop the quarterdeck bulwark with the intention of leading boarders in a man-to-man assault of the enemy. Before he could do so, he was shot through the head by a British sniper and fell dead on deck. The naval officer who attempted to replace him was shot through the abdomen, and the ships pulled apart before another effort could be made. In return, the fire by U. S. Marines had wounded the two most senior British officers, their Sailing Master, and a number of seamen. The enemy was so damaged that surrender followed. William Bush was the only Marine officer to die in action in ‘Old Ironsides,’ and the first U. S. Marine officer to die in combat anywhere. Private William Mullen, serving in the mizzen fighting top, was shot in the ankle in this fight.”

    There’s a commemorative breakfast somewhere in Texas every year in his honor, & two destroyers (WWI & WWII) were named after him; Wally Peterson, a family friend whom I came to find out too late to ask him, I believe commanded the second at one point. I have a photocopy of a portrait of Lt. Bush and was told it hangs somewhere at Quantico.

    Cheers — hope you don’t mind all the stuff I poured out, seemed the thing to do —

  • Thank you very much for providing these tours. I am originally from Boston and have been aboard “Old Ironsides” many times — although only once (by special permission) below her gun deck. I have a special interest in this super frigate as she will appear in four of six novels I am writing about the Age of Fighting Sail as told from an American perspective.