Rum and the Lash

By lex, on July 19th, 2011

Via occasional reader Paul, a punishment log from the US frigate United States, over a four month period.

The master at arms was kept considerably busy, aboard that ship.

The archivist notes one man who received a dozen strokes for “doubling the grog tub”, but I thought the case of one John F. Forrester was more interesting: Thrice flogged over that short span, first for fighting, next for smuggling liquor aboard and the last time for trying to leave the ship without permission. At least he never made the same mistake twice.

Perhaps he considered the service an imperfect fit.

Flogging has gone the way of the rum ration, but for my own part, I was surprised when I was a wee nobbut to learn that a Navy captain at sea can still proscribe as punishment three days bread and water.

They do it still.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Naval History

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