Thursday, December 22, 2011

So Now We Had A Navy...!

Amazing what came out of such a humble beginning!

When you stop and think about it, this was quite an undertaking for a new country. I can't even imagine what the training must have been like!

Dec 22, 1775:
Continental Congress creates a Continental Navy

On Friday, December 22, 1775, the Continental Congress creates a Continental Navy, naming Esek Hopkins, Esq., as commander in chief of the fleet.

Congress also named four captains to the new service: Dudley Saltonstall, Abraham Whipple, Nicholas Biddle and John Burrows Hopkins. Their respective vessels, the Alfred, Columbus, Andrew Doria and Cabot, became the first ships of the Navy's fleet. Five first lieutenants, including future American hero John Paul Jones, five second lieutenants, and three third lieutenants also received their commissions.

The new Admiral Hopkins, as he was dubbed by George Washington, was a Rhode Islander of some standing. His brother was Stephen Hopkins, the state's governor. Esek Hopkins had married well and used his wife's fortune to buy a ship. It proved a wise investment. He added to his wealth working as a privateer during the Seven Years' War. In his new position, Congress promised to pay him 125 dollars per calendar month; they also informed that he could look forward to some share of the prizes allotted to the captors. Christopher Gadsden of South Carolina designed Hopkins' personal standard, which flew from the first navy fleet. The yellow flag bore the image of a coiled snake and the Patriot motto, Don't Tread on Me.

Hopkins' first assignment was to assess the feasibility of an attack on British naval forces in the Chesapeake Bay. After sailing south with his meager force of eight ships, Hopkins decided that victory in such an encounter was impossible. He sailed to the Bahamas instead, where he attacked the British port of Nassau, a decision for which he was relieved of his command upon returning to the continent.

Old navy or new navy, one thing is always the same! Always obey orders! I'm pretty sure this applies to all branches of the armed service! There is a little bit of a difference between attacking a naval force and attacking a port!

Wonder if he thought his commander wouldn't notice? I'd say "bad judgement call!"

By the way, I got this information from I should mention that!

Let's have our coffee on the patio this morning! It's actually pretty nice outside!


Sixbears said...

We had to start somewhere.

Hopkins's decision amused the heck out of me.

Now if I sailed, without orders, to the Bahamas, my wife would relieve me of command too.

Rob said...

Thanks for the reminder. Oh how life was different than. We could be back to wooden ships again.

JO said...

Great Post.
I guess he thought he would be a hero if he did it his way. Didn't quite work out that way.

Coffee on the patio sounds delightful. I have some cookies to bring.

HermitJim said...

Hey Sixbears...
I'll just bet she would!

Seems like he thought he was doing the right thing! You just never know, I guess!

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Rob...
Different is certainly right!

We've made a lot of changes since those days and only a few of them are for the better!

Different world!

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey JoJo...
We had to move back to the kitchen again! Started raining, so the patio is all wet!

Bring on those cookies, girl!

Thanks for dropping by this morning!

JO said...

Kitchen works cookies on the way.

Gorges Smythe said...

In the past, a lot of battles were decided by which leaders were too vain to follow orders and which ones weren't. The Civil War, especially, had a lot of such situations in it.

Mayberry said...

I don't blame the guy, I'd much rather be in the Bahamas myself! His biggest mistake was going home : )