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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 282 pages of information about The Major Operations of the Navies in the War of American Independence.

[Footnote 2:  Afterwards Captain of the Fleet (Chief of Staff) to Rodney in his great campaign of 1782. Post, p. 222.  He died a Rear-Admiral and Baronet in 1789.]

[Footnote 3:  Author’s italics.]

[Footnote 4:  Remembrancer, iv. 291.]

[Footnote 5:  The radeau had six 24-pounders, six 12’s, and two howitzers; the gondola, seven 9-pounders.  The particulars of armament are from Douglas’s letters.]

[Footnote 6:  By American reports.  Beatson gives the force sent out, in the spring of 1776, as 13,357. ("Mil. and Nav.  Memoirs,” vi. 44.)]

[Footnote 7:  Douglas’s letters.]

[Footnote 8:  Douglas thought that the appearance of the Inflexible was a complete surprise; but Arnold had been informed that a third vessel, larger than the schooners, was being set up.  With a man of his character, it is impossible to be sure, from his letters to his superior, how much he knew, or what he withheld.]

[Footnote 9:  called North Hero.]

[Footnote 10:  Douglas’s letter.  The Isis and the Blonde were vessels of the British squadron under Douglas, then lying in the St. Lawrence.  The officers named were temporarily on the lake service.]

[Footnote 11:  Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty, to Pellew.]

[Footnote 12:  Beatson, “Nav. and Mil.  Memoirs,” says two hours.]

[Footnote 13:  Douglas’s letters.  The sentence is awkward, but carefully compared with the copy in the author’s hands.  Douglas says, of the details he gives, that “they have been collected with the most scrupulous circumspection.”]

[Footnote 14:  Post, p. 205.]

CHAPTER II

NAVAL ACTION AT BOSTON, CHARLESTON, NEW YORK, AND NARRAGANSETT BAY—­ASSOCIATED LAND OPERATIONS UP TO THE BATTLE OF TRENTON

1776

The opening conflict between Great Britain and her North American Colonies teaches clearly the necessity, too rarely recognised in practice, that when a State has decided to use force, the force provided should be adequate from the first.  This applies with equal weight to national policies when it is the intention of the nation to maintain them at all costs.  The Monroe Doctrine for instance is such a policy; but unless constant adequate preparation is maintained also, the policy itself is but a vain form of words.  It is in preparation beforehand, chiefly if not uniformly, that the United States has failed.  It is better to be much too strong than a little too weak.  Seeing the evident temper of the Massachusetts Colonists, force would be needed to execute the Boston Port Bill and its companion measures of 1774; for the Port Bill especially, naval force.  The supplies for 1775 granted only 18,000 seamen,—­2000 less than for the previous year.  For 1776, 28,000 seamen were voted, and the total appropriations rose from L5,556,000 to L10,154,000; but it was then too late. 

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