In 1775 General George Washington secretly armed a handful of small ships and sent them to sea against the world's mightiest navy.
From the author of the critically acclaimed Benedict Arnold's Navy, here is the story of how America's first commander-in-chiefwhose previous military experience had been entirely on landnursed the fledgling American Revolution through a season of stalemate by sending troops to sea. Mining previously overlooked sources, James L. Nelson's swiftly moving narrative shows that George Washington deliberately withheld knowledge of his tiny navy from the Continental Congress for more than two critical months, and that he did so precisely because he knew Congress would not approve.
Mr. Nelson has taken an episode that occupies no more than a few paragraphs in other histories of the Revolution and, with convincing research and vivid narrative style, turned it into an important, marvelously readable book."
Thomas Fleming, author of The Perils of Peace: America's Struggle to Survive after Yorktown
"A gripping and fascinating book about the daring and heroic mariners who helped George Washington change the course of history and create a nation. Nelson wonderfully brings to life a largely forgotten but critically important piece of America's past."
Eric Jay Dolin, author of Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America
"The political machinations are as exciting as the blood-stirring ship actions in this meticulously researched story of the shadowy beginnings of American might on the seas."
John Druett, author of Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World
|Publisher:||McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
James L. Nelson is the author of Benedict Arnold’s Navy, as well as several novels that take place during the age of the sailing navies. His first book of nonfiction was Reign of Iron: The Story of the First Battling Ironclads.
Table of Contents
Prologue: A Very Delightful Country ix
The British Command 1
The Greatest Events... in the Present Age 10
Noddles Island 17
Machias Sons of Liberty 26
"The amiable, generous and Brave George Washington, Esquire" 37
New Lords, New Laws 46
"We Have the Utmost Reason to Expect Any Attack" 53
The Congressional Navy Cabal 62
"Our Weakness & the Enemy's Strength at Sea" 76
George Washington's Secret Navy 85
Hannah Puts to Sea 93
Dolphin and Industry 101
Building and Equipping an American Fleet 110
Marblehead Boats at Beverly 119
"Not a Moment of Time be lost" 126
The Empire Strikes Back 136
Hancock and Franklin 148
Congress Pays a Visit 156
"For Gods Sake hurry off the Vessels" 168
Lee's Autumn Cruise 177
"The blundering Captn Coit" 186
Convoys and Cruisers 198
"Hard gales and Squally" 207
"[U]niversal joy ran through the whole" 216
"His people are contentd" 227
"And aPrivateering we will go, my Boys" 235
A New Army 244
A New Year 256
A New Fleet 268
Commodore of the Fleet 280
"[A] Stroke well aim'd" 290
"It is with the greatest pleasure I inform you" 301
Epilogue: Washington Rides South 313