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Thread: History of the United States Navy

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    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    History of the United States Navy

    The purpose of this thread is to trace the origins of the USN (United States Navy) from its inception to as close to modern day as possible.

    Each day I will update the thread with little known things and know things about the beginning of the Navy. These updates coincide with other services outside the Navy such as Army, Air Force and Marines as well as other such services included.

    This book focuses on the Navy as a whole and includes all services rendered there in.

    This information will contain facts, achievments, concepts, and faults of the U.S.Navy as well as the history contained there in.

    Since it is now January 29th 2007 I will begin with February as the earliest date. In stating this it means that We will start with February's earliest date from the books timeline.

    All of this Information comes straight from book the "History of the U.S. Navy" and is endorsed by said Navy and all U.S. naval offices contained there in.

    I will post the author of said book upon REQUEST via email.

    Note: This information is not "curved" to suite any Department of said services or myself or others and comes direct from said endorsed book.

    Facts: Any known facts to be found faulty are not the fault of the author I am only stating what the book reads. If there is a questionable mistake..Make it known and I will do the check on this end to the best of my ability.

    Comments are welcome. Trolling is NOT!

    If you are interested in the USN or just a history buff then please do enjoy.

    Dreadnought
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 29 Jan 07, at 18:53.
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    Im ready bring it on. LOL

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    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    Figured I would start with 1775 have a little catching up to do.

    Note: Some months show little activity and others show alot so if there are breaks in time its because of the log of the book.

    So we shall begin with 1775 "A New Nation Sets Sail".......
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

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    18 May 1775.

    Forces under the command of Colonel Benedict Arnold capture a British supply sloop and christen her the "Enterprise", destined to become one of the famous ship names in the U.S. Navy.

    12 June 1775.

    Manning the Sloop "Unity", patriots in Machias, Massachusetts (Now Maine), having the night before captured two British merchant sloops conducting trade in their town, board and capture the British armed schooner "Margaretta", the first Royal Navy vessel to surrender to an American force. The colonists, armed with weapons ranging from guns to pitchforks, are led by Jeremiah O'brian and his crew includes his five brothers. The following month O'brian leads his fellow Massachusetts mariners in the capture of two British ships in the Bay of Fundy.

    15 June 1775

    One the same day Abraham Whipple recieves his appointment as commadore of two ships outfitted for defense of the colony of Rhode Island's trade, he captures a small utility ship belonging to the British frigate "Rose". Whipples ship "Katy" eventually is taken over by the Continental Congress, and is fitted out as the sloop of war "Providence". The Continental Navy and Army both conduct Naval operations during the Revolutionary War, as each of the thirteen colonies raises its own small naval force.

    18 July 1775.

    The Continental Congress passes a resolution stating in part that "each colony at their own expense, make such provisions by armed vessels or otherwise.....for the protection of their harbors and navagation on their repective coasts"

    3 August 1775.

    A small floatilla of galleys under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Tupper in "Washington" attacks the Royal Navy warships "Phoenix" and "Rose" on the Hudson River. A two hour battle at close range results in substantial damage to "Phoenix" at the cost of four Americans killed and fourteen wounded. This and other actions do not deter the British from capturing Manhattan, New York weeks later.

    24 August 1775

    George Washington takes possesion of "Hannah", a small fishing schooner, and arms her with 4-4pounders, making her the first armed vessel to sail under Continental pay and control. Commanded by an Army officer, Nicholson Broughton, she puts to sea on 5 September 1775 with the mission of preventing provisions from reaching the besieged British forces in Boston, Massachusetts. Other fishing craft are also aqquired for this duty, and history sometimes refer to these vessels as "Washingtons cruisers"

    28 August 1775

    Ships, including the sloop "Enterprise", embark more then 1,000 troops and mount an expedition against St Johns, Montreal, and Quebec, Canada. Despite capturing or besieging all three cities, the arrival of superior British forces compels American forces to withdrawl from Canada in 1776.

    3 October 1775

    The General Assembly of their colony, having fitted out two armed vessels the previous summer, members of the Rhode Island delegation to the Continental Congress introduce a resolution calling for "Building and equipping an American fleet".

    5 October 1775.

    John Barry, captain of the merchantman "Black Prince" delivers to the Contenental Congress letters brought from England detailing the departure of a pair of brigantines bound for Quebec, Canada, with arms and ammuntion. The news spurs the creation of a commitee that within days recommends the creation of a Continental Navy.

    10 October 1775

    "Hannah" is run aground near Beverly, Massachusetts, by the British sloop "Nautilus". The townspeople prevent her capture by removing her cannon and firing upon "Nautilus". "Hannah" is soon decommisioned ending her service as a combat vessel.

    13 October 1775

    The Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, appoints a Naval Committee comprised of Silas Deane, Christopher Gadsden, and John Langdon to prepare an estimate of expense and to contract the fitting out of two sailing vessels as fighting ships. These ships will be used to intercept British vessels transporting munitions and supplies to redcoats fighting on shore.

    This date is celebrated as the birth of The United States Navy.


    more tommorow........
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 31 Jan 07, at 19:01.
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    30 October 1775

    The Continental Congress authorizes the equipping of two additional armed vessels, one to carry twenty guns, the other to carry 36, "to be employed in such manner, for the protection and defence of the united colonies." When completed the two vessels authorized on this date and the two previously authorized are named "Alfred","Andrew Doria","Cabot" and "Colombus". In other business, the Naval Committee of the Continental Congress is expanded to seven members with the addition of John Adams, Joseph Hewes, Stephen Hopkins and Richard Henry Lee.

    2 November 1775

    The Continental Congress appropriates $100,000 for the fitting out of vessels as warships.

    5 November 1775

    The Continental Congress appoints Esek Hopkins, a brigidier general in the Rhode Island militia as Commander in Chief of the Continental Navy. "I suppose you may be more servicable to your Country, in this very dangerous Crisis of its affairs, by taking upon you this Command then you can in any other Way." writes his brother Stephen Hopkins, a member of the committee that appointed him.

    25 November 1775

    The Continental Congress authorizes the capture and confiscation of all British armed vessels, transports, and supply ships, and directs the issuing of commisions to captains of cruisers and privateers. In the case of privately owned vessels, "the captures made shall be to the use of the owner or owners." In the case of vessels partially or fully funded by a colony or the United colonies, captors recieve one-third of the prize, which increases to one-half in the case of vessels of war.

    28 November 1775

    The Continental Congress adopts the first Rules for the Regulation of the Navy of the United Colonies of North America. Authorized in large part by future President of the United States John Adams, the regulations outline the conduct expected of officers and such provisions as devine services on board ship, punishments for crimes such as blasphemy and drunkeness, and the issuing of rations.

    29 November 1775

    The Continental Army schooner "Lee", under the command of Captain John Manley, happens upon the British brigantine "Nancy" in the waters off Boston, Massachusetts. Mistaking Lee for a pilot boat, The British ship lays hers sails aback and runs up signal flags. Manley dispatches a boat, ordering its occupants to conceal their weapons and take the crew of "Nancy" by surprise. They are sucessful and capture significant stores of ordinance and gunpowder for use by General George Washington's Army. Washington writes of the capture, "We must be truely thankful, For I am, for this instance of Divine favor".

    3 December 1775

    On the day of her commisioning in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, crewman onboard the Continental sloop "Alfred" raise the Grand Union flag on the jack staff above the ship. The very first American flag to fly over a American Naval vessel. Serving as First Lieutenant of the "Alfred" is a Scottish-born mariner by the name of John Paul Jones, who becomes the most famous Continental Navy captain of the American Revolution.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 31 Jan 07, at 19:00.
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

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    11 December 1775

    Congress appoints a comittee to deivise ways and means for furnishing the colonies with a naval armament. One member from each colony, with the exception of Georgia, is appointed: Samuel Adams, Josiah Bartlett, Stephen Crane, Silas Deane,Christopher Gadsden,Joseph Hewes,Stephen Hopkins,Richard Henry Lee, Francis Lewes, Robert Morris, William Paca and George Read.

    13 December 1775

    At the recommendation of the comittee appointed two days earlier, The Continental Congress authorizes the construction of thirteen frigates as the foundation of The Continental Navy. All are eventually captured or destroyed; seven of them never go to sea.

    14 December 1775

    The Continental Congress appoints a Marine Committee to carry out the resolves regarding naval armament Samuel Adams, Josiah Bartlett, Stephen Crane, Silas Deane,Christopher Gadsden,and John Houston. After the dissolution of the Naval Committee in 1776, The Marine Committee continues to guide the fledgling Navy until the creation of the Board of Admirality in 1779.

    22 December 1775

    The Continental Congress formally commisions its first officers, including Commadore Esek Hopkins, as Commander in Chief. The captains include Esek's son, John Hopkins, along with Nicolas Biddle, Dudley Saltonstall, and Abraham Whipple. Only Whipple, a native of Pennsylvania, is not a Rhode Islander.

    24 December 1775

    The armed schooner "Warren" captures the brig "Sally" north of Cape Ann, Massachusetts. Carrying 153 casks of wine, "Sally" is sailed to nearby Marblehead, an appropriate Christmas present for General George Washington.

    6 January 1776

    The Continental Congress authorizes the appointment of surgeons and surgeon's mates into the Naval service, The beginning of Navy medicine.

    25 January 1776

    The schooner "Hancock", part of "George Washington's Navy" captures two British transports and, while prize crews sail them into Plymouth Harbor, Massachusetts, engages an eight gun British schooner attempting to thwart the capture of the transports.

    30 January 1776

    The British brig "Hope", having sailed from Boston, Massachusetts, with the express pupose of capturing "Hancock", incepts her off Plymouth.
    Captain John Manley, skipper of "Hancock", runs her aground to prevent the deeper draft "Hope" from pursuing her. Refloated days later, "Hancock" continues her service in support of General George Washington's forces.

    17 February 1776

    In the first cruise of a Continental Navy squadron, Commadore Esek Hopkins sails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in command of eight ships with orders to destroy British shipping in the Chesapeake Bay and protect merchant shipping off the Carolinia's.

    19 February 1776

    The Continental schooner "Fly" collides with the sloop "Hornet" off the Atlantic Coast, damaging the sloop to such an extent that she returns to port.

    23 February 1776

    The Continental Congress legalizes privateering, Issuing General Letter of Marque and Reprisal. All British vessels armed or unarmed, are liable to capture from American ships.

    3 March 1776

    Without informing The Continental Congress, Commadore Esek Hopkins raids the Bahamas. The naval squadron under his command executes the first amphibious landing in the history of the U.S. Navy when sailors and Marines go ashore and capture Fort Montague on New Providence Island. They capture heavy artilliary pieces and gunpowder urgently needed by forces back home.

    13 March 1776

    The Marine Committee of The Continental Congress purchases the brigantine "Wild Duck" in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and renames her the "Lexington" in honor of the opening battle of the American Revolution. She is the first of five vessels to carry the famous name.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 01 Feb 07, at 19:14.
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    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Now how could you miss this important date in Navy history?


    10 Nov 1775:
    The Second Continental Congress resolved:

    "That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one Colonel, two Lieutenant-Colonels, two Majors, and other officers, as usual in other regiments; that they consist of an equal number of Privates with other battalions; that particular care be taken that no persons be appointed to offices, or enlisted into said battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve by sea when required; that they be enlisted and commissioned to serve for and during the present war with Great Britain and the Colonies, unless dismissed by order of Congress; that they be distinguished by the names of the First and Second Battalion of Marines.


    To quote Adm David Porter "A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons."

    [QUOTE=Dreadnought;337739]


    5 November 1775

    The Continental Congress appoints Esek Hopkins, a brigidier general in the Rhode Island militia as Commander in Chief of the Continental Navy. "I suppose you may be more servicable to your Country, in this very dangerous Crisis of its affairs, by taking upon you this Command then you can in any other Way." writes his brother Stephen Hopkins, a member of the committee that appointed him.
    Last edited by Gun Grape; 02 Feb 07, at 04:28.
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

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    I'm looking forward to this thread. I have been reading several books about the navy between 1786 - 1815 and I find the subject very enjoyable.

    What I find most interesting is Bainbridge, a US Naval legend and an iconic hero of 19th century America by the citizenry, would be a disaster as an officer in todays Navy, while also being one of the best sailors.

    It leaves me wondering if the US Navy can produce great men, not that I consider Bainbridge great, but that the cavalier attitude of sailors in the days of sail and even up to WWII is a virtue needed today for the littorals, but instead we get paper pushers who see littoral combat as an enterprise for 3.6 billion dollar destroyers, with an officer corp of which a large majority would need a tug to pull out of harbor, and would probably crash without one.

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    [QUOTE=Gun Grape;338364]Now how could you miss this important date in Navy history?


    10 Nov 1775:
    The Second Continental Congress resolved:

    "That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one Colonel, two Lieutenant-Colonels, two Majors, and other officers, as usual in other regiments; that they consist of an equal number of Privates with other battalions; that particular care be taken that no persons be appointed to offices, or enlisted into said battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve by sea when required; that they be enlisted and commissioned to serve for and during the present war with Great Britain and the Colonies, unless dismissed by order of Congress; that they be distinguished by the names of the First and Second Battalion of Marines.


    To quote Adm David Porter "A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons."

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post


    5 November 1775

    The Continental Congress appoints Esek Hopkins, a brigidier general in the Rhode Island militia as Commander in Chief of the Continental Navy. "I suppose you may be more servicable to your Country, in this very dangerous Crisis of its affairs, by taking upon you this Command then you can in any other Way." writes his brother Stephen Hopkins, a member of the committee that appointed him.
    Oops sorry Grape Thanks.
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    28 March 1776

    The Marine Commitee of the Continental Congress purchases the merchantman "Molly" and renames her as "Reprisal".

    4 April 1776

    The armed ship "Colombus". returning from the previous month's Bahama's expedition, captures the British schooner "Hawke".

    6 April 1776

    Five ships under the command of Commadore Esek Hopkins, flying his flag in the Continental sloop "Alfred" engage the British sloop-of-war "Glasgow" off Long Island, New York. The lone vessel eludes capture and inflicts damage on the American ships, which raises questions about the compitence of Continental officers when the squadron return to port.

    7 April 1776

    The brigantine "Lexington" commanded by Captain John Barry, engauges the British sloop "Edward" off the Virginia Capes. The British vessel strikes her colors after a fierce three hour-long battle in which Barry reports Lexington "shattered her in a terrible manner". Later fitted out as a Continental Navy ship under the direction of seventeen-year old Joshua Barney, who recieves a commision as a lieutenant during the process, "Edward" is now named "Sachem".

    17 April 1776

    Bostonian John Manley recieves his commision as a captain in the Continental Navy and takes command of the frigate "Hancock". One of the new Navy's most capable officers, he had served as commadore of the small armed ships fitted out by General George Washington to harass the British and seize supply vessels attempting to enter Boston Harbor, Massachusetts. Manley seizes 10 prizes individually and participates in the capture of 5 others during the Revolutionary War.

    8 May 1776

    The Continental schooner "Wasp", in company with a number of galley's, bombards the British ship "Roebuck" which had ran aground in the Delaware River and also captures the British brig "Betsey".

    10 May 1776

    John Paul Jones takes command of the sloop "Providence", a command which he had previously declined, and in August embarks on a cruise to the waters off the Grand Banks, capturing 16 British prizes and destroying local fishing fleets off Nova Scotia, Canada.

    21 May 1776

    The Continental frigate "Raleigh", named for English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh is launched at Portsmouth New Hampshire.

    29 May 1776

    The Continental brig "Andrew Doria" captures the British transports "Crawford" and "Oxford", placing prize crews onboard both ships. British troops seize the latter ship from the prize crew and set course for Virginia, expecting a welcome from the Tory government. Instead, patriots seize "Oxford" upon her arrival.

    10 July 1776

    The Continental frigate "Randolph" is launched at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Captain Nicholas Biddle assumes command of the vessel the following day.

    7 August 1776

    John Paul Jones assumes command of the sloop "Alfred", a ship in which he had served as first lieutenant.

    The Continental frigate "Washington" is launched at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The second Revolutionary War ship to bear the name, she never sails, being destroyed by fire near Bordentown, New Jersey on 7 May 1778.

    12 August 1776

    The Continental sloop "Sachem" fights the British brigantine "Three Friends" off the Delaware Capes, forcing the brig's surrender after a pitched battle lasting over two hours.

    26 August 1776

    The Continental sloop "Warren", one of the original ships of "George Washington's Navy", strikes her colors after a one-sided engagement with the British frigate "Liverpool"
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

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    5 September 1776

    The Continental Congress issues the first regulations governing uniforms for Naval officers, specifing a blue coat with standing collar, red lapels, yellow metal buttons, blue breeches and a red waistcoat. Captains are permitted to wear gold on parts of their uniform, a small bit of floursh on otherwise plain clothing.

    7 September 1776

    Davis Bushnell unsuccessfully attacks "Asia", a British ship-of-the-line anchored in New York Harbor, in his submersible "Turtle". Wrote an observer of the innovative craft and its inventor the previous year, "I well know the man and have seen the machine while in embryo, and every addition made to it fills me with fresh astonishment and surprise."

    11 October 1776

    A makeshift Naval squadron under the command of General Benedict Arnold engages British forces on Lake Champlaign in the Battle of Vancouver Island. He loses 11 of his 16 ships, most of them beached on the shores of the lake, but delays a British offensive in New York until the following spring, when they confront a more powerful American army.

    27 October 1776

    The brig "Hampden" under Captain Hoysted Hacker,and the sloop "Alfred" commanded by Captain John Paul Jones, depart Newport, Rhode Island, on a cruise to the waters off Newfoundland, Canada. Their goal is the disruption of fisheries and the rescue of prisoners of war held on Cape Breton Island. "Hampden" runs aground shortly after the forces departure, and her crew transfers to "Providence" for the voyage.

    6 November 1776

    The Continental Naval Board, consisting of three members "well skilled in maritime affairs", is formed to conduct the "business" of the Navy under direction of the Marine Committee.

    12 November 1776

    The sloop "Alfred" captures the British transport "Mellish", whose cargo includes thousands of winter uniforms bound for the forces under General John Bourgoyne in Montreal, Canada. They are transfered to the Continental Army post haste.

    16 November 1776

    The Dutch fort at St. Eustatius, West Indies, salutes the Grand Union flag flying from the Continental Navy brig "Andrew Doria", the first salute rendered to an American flagged vessel.

    20 November 1776

    The Continental Congress authorizes the construction of three 74-gun ships-of-the-line. Only one, "America" is ever completed, her perspective commanding officer the famous, John Paul Jones. Before she ever puts to sea under the colors of the United States, the Continental Congress presents her to France as a gift to replace the French ship "Magnifique", which had run aground in Boston Harbor, Massachuttes.

    29 November 1776

    The Continental brig "Reprisal" arrives in Nantes, France, the first vessel of the Continental Navy to arrive in European waters. On board is Benjamin Franklin, the United Colonies first commisioner to France.

    20 December 1776

    The British frigate "Pearl" captures the brig "Lexington" off the Delaware Capes. The Royal Navy captain removes all officers from the ship, but leaves 72 crewmen onboard gaurded by a prize crew. Luring the British below decks with a promise of rum, the Continental sailors recapture their ship and sail her to Baltimore Maryland.

    Ok the log breaks here and picks up in March of 1777.
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    3 March 1777

    The British frigate "Milford" force the brig "Cabot" aground in Nova Scotia, Canada. Though her crew escapes, "Cabot" becomes the first Continental Navy ship captured by the British.

    26 March 1777

    The Continental Congress sighting disobedience of orders, and complaints of his conduct suspends Commadore Esek Hopkins from command of the Continental Navy.

    1 May 1777

    "Surprize", a lugger purchased in France by agents of American commisioners in that nation, puts to sea from Dunkirk. She captures two prizes, but upon returning to France the ship is confiscated and her prizes released, a clear sign of France's unwillingness to break with England during the early stages of the American Revolution.

    10 May 1777

    The Continental sloop "Ranger" is launched at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with John Paul Jones in command.

    19 May 1777

    The schooner "Lynch" carrying secret documents and arms and clothing for the Continental Army, strikes her colors after an unsucessfull attempt to escape the British ship-of-the-line "Foudroyant" off the coast of France. Her captain manages to destory the documents before being boarded.

    28 May 1777

    The Continental Navy ships "Lexington","Reprisal" and "Dolphin" sail from France. In a foray around Ireland that sends ripples to the Royal Navy, the ships capture eighteen prizes.

    7 June 1777

    The frigates "Hancock" and "Boston" engage the British frigate "Fox" in the North Atlantic, capturing her after knocking out her mainmast and causing other severe damage. British forces recapture "Fox" the following month.

    28 June 1777

    Pursued by British blockaders, the Continental armed brig "Nancy" runs aground in Delaware. The crews of the Continental Navy ships "Reprisal" and "Lexington" remove 286 barrels of gunpowder from the ship, leaving aboard 100 barrels with a long fuze that explodes destroying "Nancy" to the waterline just as a group of British sailors board her.

    4 July 1777

    Crewman onboard the sloop "Ranger" in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, hoist the first "Stars and Stripes" flag flown on board a Continental warship.
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    7 July 1777

    British Naval forces on Lake Champlain descend upon ships and craft evacuating men and material from Fort Ticonderoga, capturing two ships and prompting the American forces to run three more aground and burn them in order to prevent their capture.

    7 July 1777

    After a spirited chase and engagement lasting some thirty-nine hours, the Continental frigate "Hancock" strikes her colors under the guns of the British ship "Rainbow". She is renamed "Iris" and achieves a sterling reputation in the Royal Navy, even turning the tables by capturing the American ship "Trumbull" on 8 August 1781.

    17 July 1777

    "Revenge", under the command of Captain Gustavus Conyngham, known as the "Dunkirk Pirate", departs France under cover of darkness. During the ensuing voyage in the North and Irish Seas, the schooner's crew captures or destroys atleast twenty ships.

    29 August 1777

    The Continental schooner "Lee" captures the British merchant brigantine "Industrious Bee". The Navy Board at Boston, Massachusetts, purchases the price in December. Fitted with eighteen guns, she is renamed "General Gates".

    4 September 1777

    The Continental frigate "Raleigh" disables the sloop "Druid" during an attack against a British convoy, but the approach of the remaining British escorts forces her to break off the engagement.

    19 September 1777

    The Continental brig "Lexington" is forced to strike her colors after her rigging is damaged in an engagement with the British cutter "Alert" off the coast of France.

    26 September 1777

    In response to the British capture of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Continental frigate "Delaware" and several smaller vessels open fire on enemy fortifications under construction there, unleashing their cannon at a range of 500 yards. The following day "Delaware" runs aground during the ebb tide. Taken under fire by British artillery, she strikes her colors.

    1 October 1777

    The Continental brig "Reprisal" is lost off the banks of New Foundland, Canada. Except for the ship's cook, the entire crew goes down with the ship.

    6 October 1777

    The uncompleted frigate "Montgomery", having been launched at Poughkeepsie, New York, is burned to prevent her capture by British forces following their capture of New York City.

    26 October 1777

    The schooner "Lee", the last of the ships of "George Washington's Navy", returns to Marblehead, Massachusetts, from her final cruise. During her service she played a role in the capture of nineteen prizes.

    1 November 1777

    The sloop "Ranger" sails for France carrying news of the victory over the British at the Battle of Saratoga" to the Continental Commissioners in Paris. The dispatches are delivered personally to Benjamin Franklin by the sloop's skipper, Captain John Paul Jones.

    2 November 1777

    Her crew having been ordered from their ship by General George Washington, the uncompleted Continental frigate "Effingham" is sunk in the Delaware River to prevent her capture by British forces that had recently captured Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    21 November 1777

    British Naval gunfire and shore batteries force the evacuation of Forts Mifflin and Mercer guarding the entrance to the Delaware River. The defenders burn Continental shipps assisting in the defenses in order to prevent their capture.


    This ends the log for 1777. Next 1778.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 07 Feb 07, at 19:06.
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    2 January 1778

    The Continental Congress dismisses Commadore Esk Hopkins from the Naval service. He never again goes to sea.

    27 January 1778

    The crew of the Continental frigate "Providence", whose ship participated in the successful raid against the Bahamas in 1776, single-handedly spikes the guns of Fort Nassau, captures 1,600 pounds of powder, and rescues thirty American prisoners during a raid against New Providence Island. During this Bahamas cruise she also siezes one prize and captures five other vessels.

    14 February 1778

    The sloop "Ranger" enters Quiberon Bay, France, flying the new American flag, the "Stars and Stripes", to which the French fleets fire a salute. This occasion marks the first official salute to the new flag recieved by a Continental warship.
    15 February 1778

    The Continental frigate "Boston" departs on a transatlantic voyage to France carrying John Adams, a recently appointed commissioner. During the voyage the frigate is struck by lightning and engages an armed British merchantman before arriving at Bordeaux on 31 March. In addition to Adams, the ship carries as a passenger his son, John Quincy, thus claiming the distinction of hosting two men who later would become Presidents of the United States.

    26 February 1778

    A boat party under the command of Captain John Barry captures four transports and the British schooner "Alert" at Fort Penn on the Delaware River.

    7 March 1778

    The Continental frigate "Randolph" engages the British ship-of-the-line "Yarmouth". Despite the frigates inferiority in armament, her crew wages a valiant fight and is on the verge of victory when her magazine ignites and blows "Randolph" to pieces. Out of a crew of 315 only 4 survive the blast and not until 1944 is another U.S. Navy vessel named "Randolph".

    9 March 1778

    The British warships "Ariadne" and "Ceres" capture the Continental sloop "Alfred" as she returns from France.

    27 March 1778

    Chased ashore on Point Judith, Rhode Island, by a British squadron, the crew of "Columbus" strips her of her sails and most of her rigging and abandons her. She meets a fiery demise at the hands of the British.

    31 March 1778

    The Continental frigate "Virginia" runs aground off Hampton,Virgina, during an attempted night passage into the Atlantic to avoid the British blockade.
    Battered by winds and high surf, she surrenders to the British the following day. Two years later she returns in the service of the Royal Navy, "Virginia" participates in the capture of Charlestown South Carolina.

    22 April 1778

    Captain John Paul Jones takes a landing party from the sloop "Ranger" ashore at WhiteHaven, England, spiking the cannons of the harbor's defences and burning colliers in port. "Intrepid & bold... a small specimen of that Conflagration & distress, we have so often experienced from our Enemies," a Virginian in the Continental Congress say's in reference to Jones's daring raid.

    24 April 1778

    The Continental sloop "Independence", returning from a voyage to France in which she delivered diplomatic dispatches, is wrecked on a sandbar while attempting to enter Oracoke Inlet, North Carolina.

    24 April 1778

    The Continental sloop "Ranger" engages the British sloop-of-war "Drake" off Carrichfergus, Ireland, forcing the enemy to strike her colors after an hours battle. Two Americans and forty British sailors are killed.
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

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    6 July 1778

    A French fleet under the command of Vice Admiral Charles Henry Comte d'Estaing arrives off Delaware, joining American forces. The French ships remain in American waters until November and engage in no combat actions.

    3 August 1778

    "General Gates", under the command of Captain John kimmer, engages the British brigantine "Montauge" off Newfoundland, Canada. In a bitter engagement lasting five hours, the British ship exhausts her ammunition magazine, and her crew resorts to firing jackknives, crowbars and any iron aboard from her cannons. One shot kills Skimmer, but his crew valiantly continues the battle, forcing "Montauge" to strike her colors in defeat.

    28 September 1778

    The frigate "Raleigh" with the British ships "Experiment" and "Unicorn" in pursuit since the previous night, during which "Raleigh" and "Unicorn" engaged in a seven hour gun battle-runs aground on Wooden Ball island off Penobscot Bay,Maine, while engaging the enemy a second time. A large portion of the crew makes it ashore, but a midshipman sent to remove the remainder of the crew and destroy the ship strikes the colors when taken under fire, allowing the capture of "Raleigh". Under British colors the frigate later takes part in the capture of Charlestown, South Carolina.

    3 October 1778

    Reverand Benjamin Balch, the first Continental Navy chaplain, reports aboard the frigate "Boston".

    28 October 1778

    Under the cover of darkness and steering their small sloop "Hawke" with poles, Major Silas Talbot and his force of sixty soldiers slip past British batteries guarding the eastern channel of Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, and attack the British ship "Pigot". The two forces exchange broadsides, which results in no loss of life and surrender of the British.

    8 November 1778

    The Continental frigate "Confederacy" is launched at Norwich, Connecticut.

    *This closes 1778 and picks up in January 1779.......

    5 January 1779

    Steven DeCatur, Jr., destined to become one of the U.S. Navy's most acclaimed combat leaders, is born in Sinepuxent, Maryland.

    14 January 1779

    The frigate "Alliance" departs Boston bound for France carrying as a passenger the Marquis de Lafayette, who becomes one of General George Washington's most able lieutenants. At sea, thirty-eight member of her crew,
    composed largely of Irish and British sailors under French born Captain Pierre Landais, plot a mutiny, which is uncovered. The guilty sailors spend the remainer of the voyage in irons.

    4 February 1779

    Captain John Paul Jones assumes command of the ship upon whose deck he becomes a legend in the annals of the history of the U.S. Navy. He cristens the frigate "Bonhomme Richard", the French equivalent of "Poor Richard" in honor of Benjamin Franklin, author of the popular periodical "Poor Richards Almanac"

    12 March 1779

    "Revenge" is sold at auction in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, an end not befitting her glorious service. A scourge of the British Empire, she captures more then sixty vessels over the coarse of some nineteen months of service.
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

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