Tuesday, January 30

A Letter for the Commodore

A letter was recently laid in my hands to foward to Commodore Hurlbut.

To:  Commodore Hulburt                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

St Mary's    
30 Jan'y 1815

    Please accept my kindest thanks for the frequent missiles you have sent me. I now write you Rowland for an Oliver and I hasten to reply.

    I start this missile with the joyous news of New Orleans.  General Jackson's campaign seems to be well appreciated, both in this country and in Europe. It will occupy an honorable place in history.
    The chances for peace should, if fighting a reasonable people, be good, for they the gentlemen of Parliament are certainly a whipped people, but are too proud to acknowledge it. Pride, "The never failing vice of fools" can only prolong this war.  I hope sincerely the days of peace are near, when we can beat our swords into pruning hooks, and return to the benign pursuits of peace, and nuture our families.

    My sense of propriety dictates, that He, who rules the universe knows what is best for us all, that is dictated by infinite wisdom, not some king with no mandate from the people, and I am consequently constrained to say, Our Father, "Thy Will be done".

    In my youth, before my disability I was like a tiger robbed of his whelps in battle, I was like a destroying angel, no height to bold, no sea to deep, no fastness too stormy, that I did not solicit to be permitted to storm. Permission was granted, and with the assistance of bold hearts and willing hands, I was the instrument of my country against the foul French.  Under such impulses I did storm, what was considered untakeable.  the Le Bon Pierre was my first prize as Master. While in Command during that little war with the French I maintained a full crew with not a casualty.  I feel that I have performed my duty.  I suppose that my period has about expired in the Navy of my great country and I daily hope to hear that it is successfully finished with a peace we can all enjoy.  I love my country so that I am still willing to honor "Ole Glory", our starry banner as long as I possess the power to do so, and will assist to place it, and lead the way, to the top mast.

      You should call on me here after the war. The climate is very pleasant, that having been no snow yet and very little weather which can be called cold.  The dampness of the atmosphere, however, renders warm fires nessecary half the time. Oysters are abundant on the coast and are now beginning to come in plentifully. Shad and other fish are beginning to make their appearance.  They Are delicious.

I have the Honor to be with great Respect,
Sir your Obedt. Servant.

Hugh G. Campbell

P.S. Remember me kindly to Captain Lee whom I meet in Malta before the Current episode.

Monday, January 29

The Honourable Edmund Sexton Pery Knox

Acasta Lieutenant under Capt. Dunn & Beaver, 1806, aged 19 years.

The Honourable Edmund Sexton Pery Knox, born in 1787, is second son of Thomas, first Earl of Ranfurly, by Diana Jane, eldest daughter and coheir of Edmund Viscount Pery, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons in the Parliaments of 1771, 1776, and 1783. He is brother of the present Earl of Ranfurly.

This officer entered the Navy, in Nov. 1799, as Fst.-cl. Vol., on board the Ethalion 38, Capt. John Clarke Searle, and on 25 of the following Dec. was wrecked on the Penmarck rocks. In May, 1800, he joined the Seahorse 38, Capt. Edw. Jas. Foote, under whom we find him escorting Rear-Admiral Sir Rich. Bickerton and General Sir Ralph Abercromby to the Mediterranean, the latter back again to England, and 10 sail of Indiamen to Calcutta, besides being for some time employed in attendance upon the King and Queen off Weymouth. From Oct. 1802 until F.eb. 1806 Mr. Knox served in the Mediterranean as Midshipman of the Jnso 32, Capt. Henry Richardson. He then became attached for short periods to the Halcyon 16, Capt. Henry Whitmarsh Pearse, Queen 98, flag-ship of Lord Collingwood, and Entreprenaktb cutter, Lieut.-Commander Robt. Benj. Young ; and on 1 Sept. in the same year, 1806, he was made Lieutenant in the Acasta 40, Capts. Rich. Dalling Dunn and Philip Beaver, lying at Plymouth. His succeeding appointments were—on 18 of the latter month, to the Narcissus 32, Capt. Chas. Malcolm, stationed in the Channel—16 Jan. 1808, to the Princess Charlotte 38, Capt. Geo. Tobin, with whom he was for eight months employed on the coast of
Acasta Capt. Beaver
Ireland— and 5 July, 1809, to the acting-command of the Pultusk sloop in the West Indies, whence he invalided in the ensuing Aug. On 24 Feb. 1810 Capt. Knox, who had been confirmed in the rank of Commander by commission dated 2 June, 1809, was appointed to the Castilian sloop off Deal Continuing but two months in that vessel, he next, on 3 Aug. 1810, obtained command of the St. Fiorenzo troop-ship. He attained Post-rank 28 Feb. 1812; and was lastly, from 22 March until 21 Jime, 1814, employed as Flag-Captain to Rear-Admirals Hon. Chas. Elphinstone Fleeming and Sam. Hood Linzee, in the Eurotas 38, off Cadiz and Gibraltar. He accepted his present rank 1 Oct. 1846. The Rear-Admiral married, 3 July, 1813, Jane Sophia, fifth daughter of Wm. Hope Vere, Esq., and sister of Jas. Hope, Esq., of Craigie Hall West Lothian, N. B. By that lady he has issue one son (an officer in the Army) and three daughters.


Friday, January 26

6 Skills Our Forefathers Had That Reenactors Don't

It occured to me that there are a ton of skills that the people that we reenactors portray had that we, as modern people, just generally don't have much anymore. This isn't ALL reenactors of course, but it definately allies to ME and several other folks I know...

My idea of cooking is preheating the oven and getting something out of the freezer. Want a new respect for historic cooking? Take a look at the above video. We met the narrator of thisvideo over the summer whilst he cooked an amazing regency era meal outdoors, over a fire. It was awesome!

When was the last time you had to get on a horse and go anywhere? For me, try 'never'. Do you ride your horse to work or school on a regular basis? Ever had to ride your horse to get your errands run? Our forefathers rode horses all the time, for almost everything. And when they weren't riding, they were...

You read historical accounts all the time about people who just got a notion in their head and walked from one state to another. As modern people we walk, some, usually for exercise purposes. When was the last time you walked with a mission, so that you could GET somewhere? 

I often hear of Lewis & Clark's expedition in 1803 compared to Mankind's first trip to the Moon, except Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin didn't have to WALK a bunch of the way to the moon.

I have an idea, let's go fetch an axe, a saw and a few other simple tools from the garage and go out in the woods and build a house from trees! Then, we're gonna live in it, no big deal.

Who does this anymore? Our forefathers wrote all the time, for work, for fun, to communicate over long distances, to state ideals and even forge nations. Theirs was a golden age of letter writing. And have you SEEN their handwriting? It's gorgeous! When was the last time you had to actually WRITE something with a pen, in CURSIVE? Cursive writing is considered of such little value these days, they barely teach it in schools anymore. And as far as modern writing, sure there are text messages, but when was the last time you texted anything that's going to change the shape of the nation or its inhabitants?
I've been an historical reenactor since 2001. In that time I've seen every period correct method (and few less-than-period methods) for making fire that you can think of, and my fire making skills are embarrassing. My attempts usually end with me on my hands and knees desperately blowing into a funny little kindling ziggurat while the cabin I'm in fills with ominous black smoke.

Have some suggestions for additions to this list? You KNOW I've left something off of here... leave YOUR ideas for everyone's enjoyment in the Comments section below this post.

The Acasta log is generally updated every weekday at 8am CST, visit back often, and encourage your History Nerd/Reenacting/Royal Navy friends to visit us.

Thanks for reading!

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Thursday, January 25

Doctor's Jars

When we was in Halifax the Doctor purchased a large number of special jars for those fishes, livers, brains, lizards and such things that he keeps pickled in spirits. A sad waste of spirits it is too. He planned to collect many new things if we was sent to Bermuda. He left the Frenchman that is his mate and his man Vasserman to repack them in shavings and straw to protect them on the voyage.

I was on deck when they handed them aboard. As soon as I had one I knew it was too heavy by twice for what it should be.

“Whats in here?” I say to the Frenchman but he just says “jen say pa” like he does not speak good English, which he does, so I look at Vasserman- who is dumb- and he writes on a little paper pad he carries “doctors jars”.

“Too heavy Mate” I tell him, and they give each other a look, and the Frenchman tells me to just keep mum and I will see when they are stowed. So once we are below we get off by ourselves and they open a case. It’s the Doctor’s jars right enough, but each one is filled to the gills with pickled eggs. They told me that if I would keep their secret they would share them. I suppose they figured the Doctor would not have approved.

Where they got them I never knew, because so many would have cost a pretty penny. Pulled some manner of purser’s trick I reckon, probably the Frenchman because deceit is just part of their nature.

In any case they was good to their word and shared them equal and I was good to my word and never told another soul, and every jar was empty by the time the Doctor set foot on Bermuda.

Robert Watson aboard the HMS Acasta
in a letter to his wife, Dec., 1813

Wednesday, January 24

A Husband on Every Ship

Today's post written by Acasta member Charles Winchester

Now allow me, Dear Brother, to acquaint you with a common practice of which you may not be aware. You have no doubt heard it said that a sailor has a wife in every port.  However there are many women in Portsmouth, Plymouth and doubtless other port cites as well, who can truly, or as near as makes no difference, say they have a husband on every ship! These happy creatures find no shame whatever in the fact that they have several husbands, or so they call them.  

There is some good fortune in the fact that two or more of these “husbands” rarely find themselves in port at the same time as their rivals. They therefore enjoy in blissful ignorance the tender adulations of their “wives” not knowing they are being cuckold while at sea. This practice is so common that a number of these ladies earn what may be called a decent living at it and have accommodated themselves quite well. One may be inclined to think that this fact alone might arouse the suspicions of their husbands. Perhaps the poor fellows are content to partake of the kisses and tender embraces that are proffered for a short season without asking too many questions. Knowing seamen as I do, I cannot believe them so thick that they cannot discover the game. 

Lest you think these ladies have elevated their station beyond their birth, fear not. Their manners betray them. Having spent the greater part of their time amongst sailors of one description or another they have adopted, without the least degree of shame, their customs in every regard. In the most bold and audacious way they swear and swagger about the waterfront finding no shame in their trade. 

Letters from a Life at Sea, Scenes from Aboard and Ashore During the Late War
by Lieutenant Gideon Parkinson, Late of HMS Salisbury.
Pub. By Fischer and Collins, Fleet Street, London, 1824

Tuesday, January 23

A Nelson Companion

A Nelson Companion- A guide to the Royal Navy of Jack Aubrey 
by C Maynard
a VERY short book review by Tony Gerard

This is a great little book! At less than 130 small pages this book is not meant to be a comprehensive guide, but is rather a collection of interesting information about life in the royal navy during the age of fighting sail. That said it does seem to cover almost every aspect of shipboard life in some short bites. This would be an excellent primer for anyone just developing an interest in the Royal Navy. Some labeled diagrams to go along with some of the explanations would have been great, and almost all the line drawing illustrations are from a later time period, but it really doesn’t detract that much. 

A little feature I enjoyed was “Nautical origins of common phrases and sayings” which was stuck in between various sections. The book also has a nice glossary of terms, plus a bibliography of sources, websites and a mention of museums relating to the topic. Every Acasta should have a copy of this little book!

Monday, January 22

Young Henry Eden

Acasta Volunteer First Class under Capt. Kerr, 15 June 1811

Henry Eden is fourth son of the late Thos. Eden, Esq., of "Wimbledon, co. Surrey, Deputy-Auditor of Greenwich Hospital, by Mariana, daughter of Arthur Jones, Esq. ; brother of John Eden, Esq., a Major in the Army, and of Arthur Eden, Esq., Assistant-Comptroller of the Exchequer ; brother-in-law of Lord Brougham, and of the late Admiral Sir Graham Moore, G.C.B. ; nephew of Sir Robt. Eden, Bart., who was Governor of the province of Maryland in 1776, as also of the late Lord Auckland; and cousin of Capt. Chas. Eden, R.N.

This officer entered the Navy, 15 June, 1811, as Fst.-cl. Vol., on board the Acasta 40, Capt. Alex. Robt. Kerr, with whom he cruized most actively on the Home and North American stations, latterly as Midshipman, until Aug. 1815. In Nov. following, after an intermediate attachment to the NAMUR 74, and Tonnant 80, flag-ships at the Nore and at Cork of Sir Chas. Rowley and Sir Benj. Hallowell, he joined the Axceste 38, Capt. Murray Maxwell, and soon afterwards sailed with Lord Amherst on an embassy to China—while on his return from which country, in Feb. 1817, he suffered shipwreck in the Straits of Gaspar.


Friday, January 19

The Days of the French Revolution

The Days of the French Revolution
by Christopher Hibbert
Another brief book review by Tony Gerard

I read this book with the goal of making myself more familiar with the conditions in France that lead up to the conflict between France and England and to learn more about what conditions in France were like throughout that period. The book covers the period from 1789 to 1795 with a concluding chapter on the advent of Bonaparte.  

This book does a pretty good job of setting out events in chronological order, and it does so in a readable enough manner. However, it doesn’t go into any real detail on what conditions and life were like at the time except in the most basic sense. 

I do have one big problem with the book. While the introduction says that “it is written for the general reader unfamiliar with the subject (that’s me), rather than the student”, Hibbert seems to assume that the non-student is somehow completely familiar with the various French political factions at the time. Girondins, Enrages, Hebertists, Indulgents, Montagnards and Sans- Coulottes all appear and reappear throughout the narrative generally with little or no accompanying explanation of who they are, where they came from or what they want. An index/glossary of who/what/why these various groups were would have sure been handy. Along that same line some formerly mentioned player will often reappear in the narrative. There as so many different names it was often hard for me to remember who was who. An index of important individuals would have been a wonderful thing to include also.

Thursday, January 18

Fiddlers and Whores

Fiddlers and Whores- 
The Candid Memoirs of a surgeon in Nelson’s Fleet
by James Lowry
a Brief book review by Acasta member Tony Gerard

James Lowry was a young man, classically trained in the medical arts, who joined the British Navy as an assistant surgeon in 1798 and served until the spring of 1804. His deployment was almost exclusively on the Mediterranean- he was in on the Egyptian campaign of 1801, was briefly a prisoner of war before being exchanged, then served in Italy and Sicily before being shipwrecked in 1804. He was apparently an avid journalist, as well as a sketch artist, but unfortunately his journals and sketches were almost all lost in the wreck.

At some point after he returned to Ireland he wrote a series of letters to his brother chronicling his adventures from memory. While he was certainly involved in some serious military actions, his main interest was in Italian society and its lax (by English standards of Lowry’s time) sexual morals. While the dust jacket notes that Lowry recounts his exploits in “perhaps rather more detail than is proper” I found this true only in 19th century terms. I personally found Lowry frustratingly lacking in the details of historic life that we living historians love so much. Not only are his romantic encounters lacking in detail, but so are the accounts of his military adventures. Personally disappointing for me, his medical endeavors barely get a mention.

This is not a bad book, but it is an easy book to put down and pick up again later. If an individual had service in the Mediterranean, Sicily or Italy as part of their back story it would be an excellent resource.

Wednesday, January 17

On the Purser's Gambling

Today's post written by Steven Diatz, who portrayes Mr. Armitage, our esteemed Purser.

Now Gentlemen (and ladies), 

I would have it known my gambling forays are mostly limited to on-shore locales, such as decent taverns, gaming clubs, and balls and soirees (that I have been invited), and only with like-minded gentlemen and lady gamesters. Aside form the occasional entertaining odd hand at whist, or dicing (for low stakes), with my fellow warrants and lieutenants, in the Acasta wardroom, I would never use my acumen, at the 'green table' against any 'below decks' ratings, as many of them are already in-debted to me, as purser, and my 'pursers bank' (which I am permitted to operate, and which some of my wardroom 'brothers' have utilized, when in need of cash or credit). I maintain that I play strictly 'upon the square', upon my honour. I gained some skill, at play, when (in my youth), I frequented some notable London 'gaming hells'. I developed the expertise of procuring wholesome victuals and (later on) sturdy clothing, while employed at various London merchant grocers, with a long stint at the prosperous firm of Fortnum and Mason (St James St, Piccadilly), and the counting house of Wm Giles and Company (Temple Bar). 

'The Hazard Room'..above, drawn in 1792, by Mr Thomas Rowlandson.
I developed the art of 'the barter', but always made sure of quality goods, at the best price, a credo I employ, as ship's purser. I have endeavoured to use my gambling winnings and purser's profit (which is not begrudged me, by regulations) to benefit our crew, by laying in a goodly supply of various 'greens' and dried fruit, to augment the ship's rations, which I bear, at my expense. Dr Roberts, our scholarly ship's surgeon (and 'man of science'), will atest, I believe, that the health, vitality and disposition of the Acasta crew has much improved, by this, which I had already discovered by conferring with other RN pursers. I long realized I do not have any great skill at seamanship or 'fighting tactics', but to properly feed and clothe our Acasta crew, using my experience and abilty, is the best way of 'serving King and Country'.

I have the honour to be, yr servant,
N. Armitage, Purser, H.M.S. Acasta

Tuesday, January 16

England Expects...

The National Maritime Museum explores how the Navy secured its place in the fabric of the nation in Nelson, Navy, Nation - a new permanent exhibition opening on Trafalgar Day, 21 October 2013. 

Monday, January 15

Mr. Midshipman Dundas

Acasta Midshipman under Capt. Kerr, c.1809-1815

John Burnet Dundas, born 14 Nov. 1794, is youngest son of the late Sir David Dundas, Bart., by Isabella, daughter of Wm. Robertson, Esq., of Richmond, co. Surrey; nephew of the late Capt. Ralph Dundas, R.N. ; and brother of the present Sir Rich. Fullerton Dundas, Bart.

This officer entered the Navy, 10 July, 1807, as Fst.-cl. Vol., on board the Spencer 74, Capt. Hon. Robt. Stopford, one of the ships employed in the ensuing expedition against Copenhagen. From Oct. 1809, until the receipt of his first commission, 25 April, 1815, he served, as Midshipman, on board the Unicorn 32, and Acasta 40, both commanded, on the Home and North American stations, by Capt. Alex. Robt. Kerr ; under whom he appears to have been most actively employed, and to have witnessed the recapture of L'Esperance (late H.M. 22-gun ship Laurel), and the capture, independently of many other vessels, of five privateers, carrying in all 57 guns and 510 men.


Friday, January 12

British Frigate vs French Frigate

British Frigate vs French Frigate 1793-1814
by Mark Lardas
a VERY short book review by Tony Gerard

This is one of the Osprey series, and like all books in the series it is well illustrated.  The author is an architect and engineer and consequently spends quite a bit of time on the technical aspects of ship design, technical specifications, statistics and analysis. I was actually more interested in the differences in life for the men aboard the ships. There is a chapter, “The Combatants”, that deals with this, but not in any great depth. I found the discussions of differences in ship’s armament interesting. The most interesting chapter for me was “Combat”, in which the author describes four different historic frigate duels.

Thursday, January 11

About Charles Monnier

Today's post written by Tony Gerard

So most recent we received some new hands, which we was sore in need of. Better yet these was actual sailors off a ship what had been decommissioned after a rough crossing, They said they had pumped almost the whole passage after her timbers had started to work during a blow. Among them was a  Royalist Frenhman and I though the old French surgeon’s mate we have aboard would weep with joy- so happy was he to have another frog aboard.

They was having a big gab in frog right after they discovered each other and who should come upon them from behind but our new hard horse Leftentant Lord Fitzroy.  Now we have plenty of hands whats not English aboard. You might hear three or four different languages spoke if you was to walk past the messes at supper, but Fitzroy is new and a tartar to boot. He makes them both jump like cats when he roars out in a Quarterdeck voice “You two men! I will not have THAT language spoken shipboard in my presence!”. The old Frenchman knuckles his forehead real quick and say “Aye, my Lord” but the new one just makes knuckle and says nothing. “I will have you make your obedience to me IN ENGLISH, sir” he says to the new one.

The new one knuckles his forehead again and says “ My apologies, my Lord. I was quite overcome at finding a fellow countryman aboard and forgot myself. It will not happen again.” Says it without a trace of a frog accent! I was close enough I heard it myself. If anything he sounded just like a Jonathan. Well Frizroy, the surgeon’s mate - and me to I am sure- just stand there with our mouth open for a second. Then Firzroy comes to hiself and says “Very well’ and stomps off.

Much later the Surgeon’s mate and the fellow hisself – his name is Monnier- told me more of his story. It seems his family was associates of the celebrated Lafayette. His father was one of his officers in the late war or some such. After the war they had lots of business dealings in America and he grew up mostly in America-which is how he come to speak English like a Jonathan. When the French started up that Republican madness and Lafayette had to flee the country his family did as well and went to America. They had been well off in the old country- but now had all their property took and lost most of everything. Most of their kin what did not flee was guillotined. 

Well Monnier could probably have been an officer in a Jonathan ship. But he is determined to “help regain his country” as he says it.  So he signs on as a common sailor in the Britain’s navy. He laughs, sings and cuts up with his mates like any common tar- and him educated and from a middling sort of family. It goes to show how common that leveling Republicanism streak is in all Frenchmen. Or maybe it was just nurtured by his time in America, cause the Jonathans is just as bad about that sort of thing.

-Robert Watson abord the HMS Acasta
in a letter to his wife, Feb. 1809

Wednesday, January 10

The Drunken Marine

John Downie, aged 26,
Marine; headache

Taken ill 15 Nov’r at Cove,
discharged to duty 25 Nov’r.

This is a coltish drunken fellow of such a ghastly wretched appearance in general that it is a difficult matter to ascertain at anytime whether he is in health or otherwise especially if it is convenient for him to affect indisposition - which is very often the case. He has been bred a butcher and from the facilities of his early years he has acquired habits that are in some degree rare - he can imitate with the greatest possible exactness the howling of a pack of hounds, the crowing of a cock, the bellowing of a bull, cow or calf and a number of other animals. On account of these curious qualifications he is often solicited by his shipmates to give a specimen of his talents and a glass of grog is of course the reward. I presume he has been drunk in consequence of something of this kind and has affected sickness to avoid punishment. He says his head aches

I have given him an emetic and will stop his grog till he is better.

 Originally Recorded by: Mr. Thomas Simpson, Surgeon, HMS Arethusa, 1805

Monday, January 8

Lieutanant Dornford

Acasta Lieutenant under Capt. Dunn, c. 1802-1807, aged approx. 17-22.

Josiah Dornford, born in Dec. 1785, is son of a gentleman who for some time was Deputy-Commissary-General in the West Indies ; where his uncle, the late Josiah Dornford, Esq., was at the same period Commissary-General.

This officer entered the Navy, in Feb. 1795, as a Volunteer, on board the Active 38, Capt. Thos. Wolley; previously to the sailing of which ship for Newfoundland, he received a severe wound in the head, and another in the knee, by the falling of two blocks from the mizen-top. Between Jan. 1796 and his promotion to the rank of Lieutenant, 29 April, 1802, he afterwards served, chiefly on the Home station, and principally as Midshipman, in the Princess Augusta yacht, Capt. Edw. Riou, Arethusa 38, Capt. T. Wolley, Barfleur 98, Capt. Jas. Rich. Dacres, Arethusa again, Megjera fireship, Capts. Peter Turner Bover, Tristram Robt. Ricketts, Henry Hill, and John Newhouse, and, a third time, in the Arethusa.
During the five years immediately subsequent to his promotion, he successively joined the Neptune 98, Capts. Fras. Wm. Austen and Wm. O'Brien Drury, L'Aigee 36, Capt. Geo. Wolfe, Acasta 40, Capt. Rich. Dalling Dunn, Loire 38, Capt. Fred. Lewis Maitland, and, as First-Lieutenant, the Phoebe 36, all employed on Home service.


Friday, January 5

Destroying the Semaphore

A Semaphore Tower
Submitted for your entertainment, is this game developed for the Acastas to play a number of years ago. We create games and activities for the group to play to keep busy at events. This is one such game.  -Albert

The Admiralty commands and requires you to sail forth into the Mediterranean just off the coast of Toulon, France, once there you will send a group of men ashore to capture the French Semaphore codes out of the tower at Toulon and then destroy the tower itself. Once ashore, with tower in sight, your men will have 4 minutes to capture the codes and destroy the tower before the overwhelming French forces arrive from the nearby fort.

The Semaphore tower at Toulon, France is the first station in a chain of towers that transport signals and information from the southern coast of France to Marseille, Avignon, then Valence and eventually all the way to Paris. On a clear day, a symbol can travel from Toulon to Paris in 12 minutes. If this initial link can be cut at Toulon, the French lines of communication from the South would be crippled.

It is assumed that you will need to rehearse your assault upon the tower in order to ensure the safety of the officers and men involved.

To that end, there is a building on the property known as the ‘Spring House' that will act as a substitute for the Semaphore Tower so that your men may practice the assault in pantomime with dummy kegs of powder. Your men are to rehearse this pantomime assault as many times as is necessary to be able to perform it in less than 4 minutes.

The 'Spring House'
To more accurately mimic the terrain and conditions you will encounter at Toulon, your mock assault on the ‘Spring House' should begin and end from the Northeast of the building itself. There will be a flag placed in the position where you should start.

They are to carry ashore 5 kegs, one to be placed at each exterior corner of the tower at ground level and one keg to be placed in the middle of the interior of the building. All kegs are to be strung to one another with twine or string that shall act as dummy fuses. Then they must run the master fuse out and away from the powder kegs at the tower a minimum distance of 50 yards. A fuse less than 50 yards long will result in the tower being destroyed before the Acastas can safely escape the scene.

Remember, the Acastas must capture the codes, position the kegs in the specified spots and set the fuses in 4 minutes or less to be able to ensure the success of the mission and the safety of the men.

Materials Needed:

5 barrels to act as 'Powder Kegs'
a spool of twine or string to serve as 'Fuses'
a quantity of papers to be the 'French codes'
a small structure to act as the 'Semaphore Tower'

You may modify the particulars of the mission to accommodate facilities and supplies available.

Good Luck!