The late military successes have given us a season repose. People are changing their notions of the power of the country to meet such a trial, which is attended with quite favorable consequences to use in our position. Our diplomacy is almost in a state of profound calm. Even the favorite idea of a diversion into two states is less put forward than it was. Yet the interest with which the struggle is witnessed grows deeper and deeper. The battle between the Merrimack and our vessels has been the main talk of the town ever since the news came, in Parliament, in the clubs, in the city, among the military and naval people. The impression is that it dates the commencement of a new era in warfare, and that Great Britain must consent to begin over again. I think the effect is to diminish the confidence in the result of hostilities with us. In December we were told that we should be swept from the ocean in a moment, and all our ports would be taken. They do not talk so now. So far as this may have an effect to secure peace on both sides it is good…. Continue reading
February 22, 1862
Fellow-Citizens: On this the birthday of the man most identified with the establishment of American independence, and beneath the monument erected to commemorate his heroic virtues and those of his compatriots, we have assembled to usher into existence the Permanent Government of the Confederate States. Through this instrumentality, under the favor of Divine Providence, we hope to perpetuate the principles of our revolutionary fathers. The day, the memory, and the purpose seem fitly associated. Continue reading
So, America built six frigates, but those weren’t the only warships in the fledging navy. The Barbary Wars tend to be forgotten conflicts in overview studies of U.S. History, but they are incredibly important for understanding diplomacy and America’s earliest national interactions with Islamic countries.
They are particularly interesting to our study of 19th Century maritime for two reasons. 1) They take place at the very beginning of the 19th Century 2) They are fought to protect American maritime commerce in the Mediterranean.
Here are the top 10 things you should know about the First & Second Barbary Wars:
(And just to be clear, here are the conflict dates. First – 1801 to 1805. Second – 1815 to 1816.) Continue reading
…We have blundered all summer long and now we have capstoned our blunders by blundering into a war with England. So be it. While there’s life, there’s hope; but I go into the army with a bitter feeling against those under whose lead we hae come to this pass, and amid all the shattered idols of my whole life I don’t feel as if I cared much when my turn came. Continue reading
London 30 Nov. 1861
My dear Boy
If I thought the state of things bad last week you may imagine what I think of them now. In fact I consider that we are dished, and that our position is hopeless. If the Administration ordered the capture of those men, I am satisfied that our present authorities are very unsuitable persons to conduct a war like this or to remain in the direction of our affairs. It is our ruin. Do not deceive yourself about the position of England. We might have preserved our dignity in many ways without going to war with her, and our party in the Cabinet was always strong enough to maintain peace here and keep down the anti-blockaders…. Continue reading