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The National Music of America. 217
It was a good chance for boarding parties (except that there was a heavy sea on), but Hull, with his usual prudence, had stationed sharpshooters in the tops of the Constitution, and these emphatically discouraged any gatherings of this kind, by shooting down any who seemed disposed to head them. Yankee ingenuity was displayed even in this, for, as in the days of muzzle-loaders it took a considerable time to recharge a gun after firing, the men in the tops lay in clumps of seven, six constantly reloading the discharged weapons, and the best marksman seizing gun after gun, ready to his hand, and making every shot tell.
While the vessels were thus afoul of each other, the forward guns of the Guerriere exploded, setting fire to the cabin of the Constitution, but the flames were soon controlled.
Now occurred one of the most dare-devil deeds of the whole heroic action; a stray shot had brought down the American flag,