Rank(s): Able Seaman
Dates of Service: -
Bateman was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on an unknown date.
Bateman joined Constitution’s crew on July 3, 1812 in Annapolis, Maryland.
Bateman was the first loader on gun no. 4 on the forecastle. His watch is unknown. His specific duty aboard ship was to be a crewmember fully qualified to hand, reef, and steer as a skilled member of the ship’s basic labor force.
The able seaman was the elite member of the crew. Having sailed for years “before the mast” on merchant vessels or worked his way up through the ranks in the navy, it was on him that the officers relied for the smooth operation of the ship. The traditional requirements for the seaman were that he be able to “hand (furl or take in a sail), reef (reduce a sail’s area), and steer,” but these were in fact the barest requirements for the seaman rating. In addition, they were expected to be familiar with nearly all aspects of shipboard labor. He had to be able to cast the sounding lead, be able to sew a sail with a palm and needle, and understand all parts of the rigging and the stowage of the hold. Furthermore, he had to know how to fight, as part of a gun crew or with small arms. It was from the ranks of the able seamen that the petty and warrant officers were drawn. The able seaman made $12.00 per month.
Battles and Engagements
Bateman participated in the victories over HMS Guerriere, on August 19, 1812, and HMS Java, on December 29, 1812. He later participated in a war cruise capturing one small British man-of-war and three merchantmen. He received $42.62 ½ and $42.30 in prize money for the victories. On September 3, 1812, he was one of those who volunteered to augment Commodore John Rodgers’ squadron when it was thought a battle with a British squadron off Boston was imminent; that proved to be a false alarm. During the battle with Java a cartridge exploded, injuring Bateman in the left wrist and both knees.
Bateman was discharged from the Navy due to his injuries on June 8, 1813. He received a pension of $5 a month from then on. He appears in an 1838 census record for Arkansas, but his date and place of death are unknown.