Constitution’s control center was the quarterdeck – the part of the spar deck behind the main mast. Here officers guided the ship’s course and gave orders to trim the sails – or launch an attack! For young midshipmen, the quarterdeck was a classroom, where they learned the skills and customs of command. To
mere sailors it was a special place of ceremony and honor. They were respectful and polite when they came here to haul a line, or fire guns in battle.