A History Of American Privateers

Taal: Engels
A History Of American Privateers
Uitgever: Read Books
  • Engels
  • Paperback
  • 9781406708820
  • maart 2007
  • 588 pagina's
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TO THEODORE ROOSEYELT, PIONEER OF THE MODERN SCHOOL OF NAVAL WRITERS, THIS WORK IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED. PREFACE. THE history of the United States navy is so in timately connected with that of our privateers that the story of one would be incomplete without a full record of the other. In each of our wars witli Great Britain many of the captains in the navy assumed command of privateers, in which they frequently rendered services of national importance, while the privateersmen furnished the navy with a large num ber of officers, many of whom became famous. In our struggle for independence more than sixty American craft armed by private enterprise were commanded by men who had been, or soon became, officers in the regular service and in more than one instance, notably that of the officers and men of the Ranger Captain John Paul Jones 5 famous ship, then commanded by Captain William Simpson almost the entire ships company of a Continental cruiser turned to privateering. Many of our most distinguished naval officers have pointed with pride to their probationary career in privateers. The mere mention of such names as Truxtun, Porter, Biddle, Decatur, Barney, Talbot, Barry, Perry, Murray, Rodgers, Cassin, Little, Robinson, Smith, and Hop kins will show how closely related were the two arms of our maritime service. In his History of the United States Navy the author endeavored to show that our maritime forces were a powerful factor not only in attain ing American independence, but in maintaining it. vu viu PREFACE. 1775-1815. A few general statements will show that in both wars with England our privateers were a most important if not predominating feature of our early sea power. In our firststruggle the Government war vessels built, purchased, or hired numbered forty-seven, or, including the flotilla on Lake Cham plain, sixty-four vessels of all descriptions, carry ing a total of one thousand two hundred and forty two guns and swivels. This force captured one hundred and ninety-six vessels. Of the privateers there were seven hundred and ninety-two, carrying more than thirteen thousand guns and swivels. These vessels captured or destroyed about six hun dred British vessels. In the War of 1812 the regular navy of the United States on the ocean numbered only twenty-three vessels, carrying in all five hun dred and fifty-six guns. This force captured two hundred and fifty-four of the enemys craft. In the same period we had five hundred and seventeen pri vateers, aggregating two thousand eight hundred and ninety-three guns, which took no fewer than one thousand three hundred prizes. The following table will show, in a most strik ing manner, the importance of the part taken by our privateers in the struggle for independence Comparative List of American-armed Vessels 1776-178. Comparative Number of Ghwa carried ly the above Vessels. Looking at it from a financial point of view, we find that the money value of the prizes and cargoes 1775-1815. IMPORTANCE OF PRIVATEERS. IX taken by Government cruisers during the Revolu tion, allowing an average of thirty thousand dollars for each, to be less than six million dollars, and, allowing the same average for the privateers, we have a total of eighteen million dollars. In the sec ond war with Great Britain we find, on the same basis of calculation, the money value of Government prizes to be six million six hundred thousand dollars, whilethat of the privateers was thirty-nine million-dol lars...



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