Lavinia, and none at all belonging to the French navy, mounts as her establishment 30 long 18-pounders on the main deck, would have a right to consider the Guerrière as a frigate of a superior class and description; and so, for that very reason, is she still generally considered, as well on this as on the opposite side of the Atlantic. We are surprised that neither of our contemporaries, both of whom have given proofs that the first edition of this work has been occasionally consulted by them, has thought it worth his while to point out so important a peculiarity in the Guerrière's armament. *
We have already, at some length, shown how particular the Americans were in manning their ships ; and how easy, having so few ships to man, it was to supply them with picked crews. For many years previous to the war, America had been decoying the men from British ships, by every artful stratagem. No ship, that anchored in her water, could send a boat on shore, without having the crew assailed by a recruiting party from some American frigate fitting in the vicinity. Many British seamen had also entered on board American merchant vessels; and the numerous non-intercourse and embargo bills, in existence at different periods during the four years preceding the war, threw many merchant sailors out of employment. So that the captains of the American frigates, when preparing for active warfare, had to pick their complements from a numerous body of seamen. Highly to the credit of the naval administration of the United States, the crews of their ships were taught the practical rules of gunnery; and 10 shot, with the necessary powder, were allowed to be expended in play, to make one hit in earnest.
Very distinct from the American seaman, so called, were the American marines. They were chiefly made up of natives of the country ; and a deserter from the British would here have been no acquisition. In the United States, every man may hunt or shoot among the wild animals of the forest. The young peasant, or back-woodman, carries a rifled-barrel gun, the moment he can lift one to his shoulder; and woe to the duck or deer that attempts to pass him, within fair range of his piece. To collect these expert marksmen, when of a proper age, officers were sent into the western parts of the Union ; and, to imbody and finish drilling them, a marine-barrack was established near Washington : from which depot the American ships were regularly supplied.
With respect to a British ship of war, her case was widely different. Although the captain was eased of much of his trouble, having, in proportion to the size and mounted force of his ship, a considerably smaller crew to collect, by having about one twentieth part of that crew to form of boys and widows' men, or
* Brenton, vol, v., p. 52. Marshall, vol. ii., p. 974, note.
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