The Major Operations of the Navies in the War of American Independence eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 351 pages of information about The Major Operations of the Navies in the War of American Independence.

After Graves’s return to New York, Rear-Admiral the Hon. Robert Digby arrived from England on the 24th of September, to take command of the station in Arbuthnot’s place.  He brought with him three ships of the line; and the two which Sir Peter Parker had been ordered by Rodney to send on at once had also reached the port.  It was decided by the land and sea officers concerned to attempt the relief of Cornwallis, and that it was expedient for Graves to remain in command until after this expedition.  He could not start, however, until the 18th of October, by which time Cornwallis’s fate was decided.  Graves then departed for Jamaica to supersede Sir Peter Parker.  On the 11th of November Hood sailed from Sandy Hook with eighteen ships of the line, and on the 5th of December anchored at Barbados.  On the 5th of November de Grasse also quitted the continent with his whole fleet, and returned to the West Indies.

[Footnote 94:  Ante, p. 153.]

[Footnote 95:  See ante, p. 153.]

[Footnote 96:  Along the north coast of Cuba, between it and the Bahama Banks.]

[Footnote 97:  The Ville de Paris, to which Troude attributes 104 guns.  She was considered the biggest and finest ship of her day.]

[Footnote 98:  This reproduced the blunder of Byng, between whose action and the one now under discussion there is a marked resemblance.]

[Footnote 99:  I.e. she had stopped.]

[Footnote 100:  Hood himself.]

[Footnote 101:  Letters of Lord Hood, p. 32.  Navy Records Society.  My italics.  Concerning the crucial fact of the signal for the line of battle being kept flying continuously until 5.30 P.M., upon which there is a direct contradiction between Hood and the log of the London, it is necessary to give the statement of Captain Thomas White, who was present in the action in one of the rear ships.  “If the London’s log, or the log of any other individual ship in the fleet, confirm this statement,” (that Hood was dilatory in obeying the order for close action), “I shall be induced to fancy that what I that day saw and heard was a mere chimera of the brain, and that what I believed to be the signal for the line was not a union jack, but an ignis fatuus conjured up to mock me.”  White and Hood also agree that the signal for the line was rehoisted at 6.30. (White:  “Naval Researches,” London, 1830, p. 45.)]

[Footnote 102:  “Letters of Lord Hood.”  Navy Records Society, p. 35.]



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