I heard the shot strike the sides of our ship; the whole scene grew indescribably confused and horrible; it was like some awfully tremendous thunder-storm, whose deafening roar is attended by incessant streaks of lightning, carrying death in every flash and strewing the ground with the victims of its wrath: only, in our case, the scene was rendered more horrible than that, by the presence of torrents of blood which dyed our decks. This was Samuel Leech's first experience of naval warfare. He was a powder monkey aboard the HMS Macedonian when it was attacked forced to strike its colors by the USS United States in the war of 1812. Leech provides a fascinating account of life as a sailor in the War of 1812 and through early nineteenth century. It is a remarkable account of a man who until the conflict with the USS United States had fought British Navy but after that battle changed allegiance to the United States and continued sailing with her navy for a further four years. He provides brilliant insight into the contrasts that he saw between the U.S. Navy and the British Navy during this time. It is a vivid account of life at sea in the early nineteenth century and a perfect addition to any sailor's library.