By James C. Bradford
The United States, Sea energy, and the realm
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Additional info for America, Sea Power, and the World
1777 Savannah, Dec. 1778 Penobscot Bay, Aug. 1779 Charleston, April 1780 Royal Navy Commanders Vice Adm. Mariot Arbuthnot Capt. George Collier Vice Adm. Richard Howe Rear Adm. Peter Parker Rear Adm. Molyneux Shuldham British Army Commanders Lt. Col. Archibald Campbell Gen. Henry Clinton Gen. Charles, Lord Cornwallis Gen. William Howe Maj. Gen Richard Prescott Maj. Barry St. , commander‐in‐chief) of the Continental Navy. The brother of an influential member of the Continental Congress’ Naval Committee, Hopkins had an extensive background as a merchant captain and privateer.
The Battle of the Virginia Capes was the decisive event of the war in North America. During the next two years, Britain sent additional ships and troops to the Caribbean but did not reinforce its army in New York. The End of the War The dispatch of forces to the West Indies was made necessary by the French seizure of St. Kitts and of several smaller islands from the British. At the same time, the Franco‐Spanish Siege of Gibraltar continued in Europe. These events, coupled with Cornwallis’ 1781 defeat at Yorktown, put overwhelming pressure on the British government.
Frigates also operated independently of the fleet, convoying merchantmen, patrolling empires, and countering piracy. Unrated warships, including sloops, brigs, and pinnaces, carried fewer than 20 guns. These shallower‐draft, faster sailing vessels filled a variety of functions including carrying dispatches and patrolling Falconer, A New Universal Dictionary of the Marine 1830 , 353. 1 Royal Navy warship classes in 1800. Class Ships-of-the-line Gunsa (size built b) Through gun decks Number of crewmen Number in commission 100–120 (100, 110)c 3 850–950 11 90–99 (90, 98)d 3 700–750 21 Third rate 60–89 (64, 74, 80)e 2 600–700 148 Fourth rate 50–60 (50)f 2 350–450 20 30–50 (36, 38, 40, 44) 1 200–350 162 Rate First rate Second rate Frigates Fifth rate Sixth rate 20–30 1 150–200 51 Sloops and brigs Not rated 10–20 (16, 18) 1 100–120 134 Bomb ketches Not rated 8 1 >120 127 a “Guns” designates the range of the number of guns a warship was designed to carry; actual armaments varied.
America, Sea Power, and the World by James C. Bradford