Rank(s): Ordinary Seaman
Dates of Service: -
Bisly’s date and place of birth are unknown.
Bisly transferred from Gunboat #81 to USS Constitution on August 2, 1812. His battle station was as a powder passer and his watch section is unknown. His specific duty aboard ship was to be a semi-skilled member of the ship’s basic labor force.
Among the enlisted men, ordinary seamen stood in the middle of the lower-deck hierarchy. These men had typically sailed one or two voyages and knew basic seamanship. Like the able seamen, they too could “hand, reef, and steer,” but some of the more complicated maneuvers were foreign to them. Many ordinary seamen would have been numbered among the topmen, the young and agile crewmembers who were responsible for working aloft on the masts and yards. The ordinary seaman made $10.00 per month.
Battles and Engagements
Bisly participated in the battles over HMS Guerriere on 2 August 2, 1812 and HMS Java on December 29, 1812. For these victories he received $42.62 ½ and $42.30 in prize money. He also participated in the battle with HMS Cyane and HMS Levant on February 20, 1815, receiving part of the $45,000 in prize money for the victory. On 3 September 1812, Bisly was one of those who volunteered to augment Commodore John Rodgers’ squadron when it was thought a battle with a British squadron off Boston, MA was imminent; that proved to be a false alarm.
Bisly transferred from Constitution to USS Siren on August 12, 1815. Bisly’s date and place of death are unknown.