By James Harmon Ward, Sir Howard Douglas
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Extra resources for A manual of naval tactics: together with a brief critical analysis of the principal modern naval battles
Barron was court-martialed for being unprepared, but the more important question was how the United States should respond to this flagrant insult. It might have meant war, but instead Jefferson opted for economic sanctions of his own, closing American ports to British warships and declaring a trade embargo, effectively forbidding Americans to trade with any other nation. Jefferson’s embargo policy pleased almost no one. American merchants, especially those in New England, were particularly angered, and they routinely violated the restrictions just as they had ignored the trade regulations imposed on them by the British Par liament during the colonial era.
The most prominent of these raiders was the CSS Alabama. Commanded by Captain (later Rear Admiral) Raphael Semmes, the Alabama conducted a two-year cruise over three oceans, during which it captured sixty-eight prizes. Since Semmes could not send those prizes into port, he burned them, using four of them to rid himself of his accumulated prisoners. The Alabama also fought and sank the USS Hatteras in the Gulf of Mexico in January 1863, which was the first time a steam-powered warship sank another steam warship in battle.
Chapter 4 A Constabulary Navy Pirates, Slavers, and Manifest Destiny (1820–1850) The American ships of the line authorized in 1816 never fired a shot in anger. Though a few of them were dispatched one at a time to cruise the Mediterranean, they were afterward mostly laid up in ordinary. S. Navy after 1820 were simply inappropriate for such huge—and expensive to operate—warships. S. Navy involved dealing with smugglers, pirates, and the illegal slave trade, and deploying ships of the line to deal with such issues was like hitting a tack with a sledgehammer.