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Approximately 200,000 African Americans fought for the Union during the Civil War. Initially, many white soldiers doubted their bravery and skill; they were soon proved wrong. The United States Colored Troops performed countless acts of courage, most famously at the battle of Fort Wagner where the 54th Massachusetts marched forth and scaled the parapets, only to be driven back in fierce hand-to-hand combat. Through fascinating first-hand accounts, this title examines the journey of the African American from slave to soldier to free man, ultimately providing a fascinating insight into the impact that these brave men had on the war and how it influenced their lives thereafter.
By 1805 the 44-gun frigate was probably viewed as a failed experiment whilst the 38-gun frigate was viewed as the vessel of the future. Ten years later every navy was building 44-gun frigates and today it is viewed as the symbol of the Napoleonic-era cruiser. This remarkable transformation resulted from the performance of three ships - the Constitution, United States, and President - 44-gun frigates built for the United States Navy between 1794 and 1799. Their victories in the naval War of 1812, as well as their performance against the Barbary Pirates, caught the imagination of the world - and spurred all navies into re-examining the class.
The "Original Six" frigates were commissioned by the new-born US Navy at a staggering cost of $688,888.82. Designed to be light and fast, these warships enabled America to project its power across the globe. Among the ships Mark Lardas examines is USS Constellation: the first ship to be commissioned by the United States Navy, and also the first ship to engage and capture an enemy vessel, the French L'Insurgente - this engagement is vividly portrayed in original color artwork. The fascinating history of the USS Chesapeake is also brought to life through the dramatic account one of the bloodiest duels in the age of fighting sail as the Chesapeake meets the British frigate Shannon and is overwhelmed, the dying cry of the captain, "Don't give up the ship!" inspired the US Navy thereafter. Alongside stirring accounts of engagements during the Barbary Wars and the Quasi-War, the author explores the design and development of these frigates, explaining the shortcomings that led to their replacement by larger, heavier 44-gun models by 1800. Contemporary illustrations of US frigates and their British and French rivals help to place these ships in the context of European ship design, clearly showing the escalation of the naval 'arms race' during the seventeenth century. American Light and Medium Frigates is an ideal resource for any naval enthusiast wanting to learn more about the ships that witnessed the rise of the US Navy and Marines.
The clash between the American Bonhomme Richard and the British HMS Serapis during the American Revolutionary War is perhaps the most famous single-ship duel in history. This epic battle between two very similar ships - and crews - off the coast of Britain in September 1779 created two naval heroes: in victory John Paul Jones became a figure that all future American naval officers would aspire to emulate, while Richard Pearson, in defeat, became a hero to the British for a tenacious defense that allowed the merchant vessels under his protection to escape.In September 1779 five warships loosely commanded by John Paul Jones and sailing under the American flag - although all but one had all been loaned or donated by France, a key American ally - were moving down the Yorkshire coast when they encountered a Baltic merchant convoy of over 40 ships escorted by two British vessels, the Serapis and the Countess of Scarborough. A confused encounter battle culminated in the Bonhomme Richard, already severely damaged by British gunnery, deliberately colliding with the Serapis as John Paul Jones strove to board and capture the Royal Navy vessel before his own sank beneath him. The two ships continued to exchange devastating fire at point-blank range; an American grenade exploded on an arms chest on the Serapis, causing massive destruction on deck. Even so, the outcome of the battle remained inconclusive throughout the night until the British captain Richard Pearson, seeing that the merchant vessels under his protection had reached safety, reluctantly decided to surrender to his exhausted adversary. The Countess of Scarborough also surrendered, and the American squadron (minus the Bonhomme Richard, which promptly sank) were able to escape with their two prizes, observed by thousands of onlookers from the Yorkshire coastline.Featuring specially commissioned full-color artwork, this is the story of an epic maritime clash at the height of the Revolutionary War that provided a founding legend for generations of US naval officers and demonstrated the intrepidity and fighting prowess of the fledgling American Navy.
In the Age of Fighting Sail (1650-1820), ambitious officers of the navies of many nations sought command of a frigate. Speedy, nimble and formidably armed, frigates often operated independently, unlike the larger ships of the line. Legendary sailors such as Edward Pellew and Charles-Alexandre Léon Durand, Comte de Linoise, found that commanding such a ship offered numerous opportunities for wealth - in the form of prize money paid out for captured enemy vessels - and, even more importantly, prestige and promotion for captains who prevailed in the numerous single-ship duels that characterized frigate warfare. During in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars both Great Britain and France employed frigates to achieve their maritime objectives: to perpetuate its supremacy the Royal Navy needed to be strong everywhere, while the French Navy concentrated its efforts on deploying single frigates or small frigate squadrons to probe for weak points in the British mastery of the seas. Between 1793, when HMS Nymphe fought and captured the French frigate La Cléopâtre, and the 1814 clash between HMS Hebrus and L'Étoile British and French frigates met and fought in over 100 battles. Of these no fewer than 32 were pure frigate duels, with a pair of frigates fighting without the interference of another major warship before the battle ended. Attention and romance attached to these clashes, both at the time and right up to the present day; literary characters such as Horatio Hornblower and Jack Aubrey have perpetuated the legend of these spirited battles on the high seas for successive generations. In this book, four representative frigate duels are examined: first, a battle fought between two closely matched ships (HMS Nymphe (36) vs La Cléopâtre (32), 18 June 1793); second, a victory won by an inferior British frigate over a superior French frigate (HMS Pallas (32) vs Minerve (40), 14 May 1806); third, a victory - the only one - by an inferior French frigate over a superior British frigate (HMS Ambuscade (32) vs Baïonnaise (24), 14 December 1798), and fourth, victory of a superior British frigate over an inferior French frigate (HMS Indefatigable (44) of Hornblower fame vs La Virginie (40), 21 April 1796). Featuring specially commissioned artwork and offering expert analysis, this study provides a vivid account of the bloody combats fought by the most romantic warship of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic era - the frigate.
Famed as a classic naval duel, the clash between two sailing frigates of the nineteenth century affords its victor immeasurable fame and glory. During the War of 1812, the Royal Navy and United States Navy squared off in a number of such duels, the most famous between the USS Constitution and HMS Guerrière. Tactics between the two nations varied enormously, with the American Navy favoring twenty-four pound guns, heavy carronades, and larger crews, while the British tended to equip its frigates with eighteen-pound guns and smaller, more economical crews. Through first-hand accounts of officers and sailors present at the battles and fascinating comparisons of artillery, crew ability and tactical achievements, this book offers an unparalleled insight into the ruthless reality of frigate battles in the War of 1812.From the Trade Paperback edition.
By the time of American Civil War things had changed from the Age of Fighting Sail - steam power and explosive shells were transforming naval warfare. Iron was beginning to supplant wood. Britain had just finished HMS Warrior, an iron-hulled warship and coastal ironclads dominated the waters off the United States. The changes meant that ships sank, during battles instead of afterwards. The fights were no less bloody, but in addition to flying splinters, a host of other dangers were added - burst steam boilers, fire due to exploding shells, and the burst from the shells themselves. But, just as in the age of sail, warship captains that won one-on-one battles with another warship became as famous as modern sports stars. During the course of the American Civil War, three single ship actions were fought between Union cruisers and Confederate raiders: CSS Florida vs. USS Wachusett, CSS Alabama vs. USS Hatteras, and CSS Alabama vs. USS Kearsarge. This book will present those, with an emphasis on the most famous battle: Alabama's fight with Kearsarge. Next to the battle between USS Monitor and CSS Virginia, no other naval duel of the American Civil War drew as much interest. That story is told from the eyes of the participants filtered through the lens of historical analysis available since the battles were fought. This includes archeological studies of wrecks of some of these ships, making this book an indispensible guide for anyone interested in Civil War and naval history.From the Trade Paperback edition.
On a dark night in 1804, Lt. Stephen Decatur and a team of hand-picked men, slipped into Tripoli harbor in a small boat. Their target was the USS Philadelphia. Captured by the Barbary pirates four months previously, the Philadelphia had been refitted to fight against her former masters. Decatur's mission was to either recapture the ship, or failing that, burn her to the waterline. This book recounts one of the greatest raids in American military history, an event that propelled Stephen Decatur to international renown, and which prompted Horatio Nelson to declare it 'the most bold and daring act of the age'.
George Washington may be one of history's most underrated commanders. Overlooked in favour of his contemporaries such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Frederick the Great, Washington's achievements are arguably more impressive. Frederick and Napoleon inherited formidable militaries, and both had extensive military training and experience prior to assuming command of armies. Washington built his army from scratch, was self-taught, and had never commanded anything larger than a regiment before assuming command of the Continental Army in 1775. This new Command title will track the development of Washington's military career from his early missteps to his heroic efforts during the Revolutionary War that led him on the path to the presidency.From the Trade Paperback edition.
When war broke out in 1812, neither the United States Navy nor the Royal Navy had more than a token force on the Great Lakes. However, once the shooting started, it sparked a ship-building arms race that continued throughout the war. This book examines the design and development of the warships built upon the lakes during the war, emphasizing their differences from their salt-water contemporaries. It then goes onto cover their operational use as they were pitted against each other in a number of clashes on the lakes that often saws ships captured, re-crewed, and thrown back against their pervious owners. Released in 2012 to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the outbreak of the war, this is a timely look at a small, freshwater naval war.
Several thousand Native Americans fought on both sides during the American Civil War (1861-1865). They came from various tribes in the Indian Territory of present-day eastern Oklahoma. They were organized into regiments of mounted riflemen - troops that could fight from the saddle or dismounted in the plains and rolling hills. Confederate Indians were organized into regiments by tribe, with Cherokees eventually raising three regiments, and the Unionists were organized into the Indian Brigade of three regiments. This book explores their lives from enlistment through to discharge and examines how they trained, lived and fought.
To reach the Port of Houston's Turning Basin, a ship must travel 50 miles along a narrow and twisting channel that passes through Galveston Bay, the San Jacinto River, and Buffalo Bayou. Despite this improbable location, Houston has the world's largest landlocked port. Measured by annual tonnage shipped, the Port of Houston is the second-largest port in the United States. Its docks, wharves, and facilities cover more than 25 miles. The port starts its second century as a seaport in 2014. Its transformation from a crowded river port into an industrial giant is fascinating. It is a tale of technology, geography, politics, hard work, and Texas brag--mixed with a little luck.
On April 17, 1863 Benjamin Grierson led a force of 1,700 Union cavalrymen across enemy lines into the Confederate-held Tennessee in a bold diversionary raid. Over the next seventeen days, Grierson's horsemen caused havoc by destroying railroad lines, attacking outposts, burning military stores and fighting numerous small actions, before breaking back through the lines at Baton Rouge. The raid was a tremendous success, not only by virtue of the destruction it caused, but also because the Confederates were forced to divert thousands of troops away from the front lines during General Grant's critical Vicksburg offensive. This book tells the complete story of one of the most daring Union raids of the war.
Virginia's Shenandoah Valley in 1864 was the scene of one of the most crucial campaigns of the Civil War. The outcome of the fighting there would have consequences that stretched far outside the valley to help decide the fate of the nation.In 1864 the Union Army's new commander, Ulysses Grant, created the Union's first cohesive strategy for conquering the Confederacy. One of his key objectives was to control the Shenandoah Valley. The valley shielded the Confederacy, served as the bread basket for Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, and provided remounts for Confederate cavalry. When an initial invasion in spring 1864 failed in the face of a skillful counter-attack by General Jubal Early, Grant turned to his cavalry commander, Brigadier-General Philip Sheridan, to drive the Confederacy from the valley.On August 7, 1864, "Little Phil" assumed command of the Army of the Shenandoah, as the new command was styled. Over the next 90 days two armies--the Union forces led by Sheridan and the Confederate troops commanded by Early--maneuvered across the Shenandoah Valley in a storied campaign of move and countermove, where unexpected attacks were met by equally unexpected ripostes. The stakes in the battles were not just the fate of one disputed agricultural valley in the United States. Rather, its implications would be felt throughout a nation torn by Civil War. Victory or defeat in the Shenandoah could affect the outcome of the Presidential election to be held in November 1864. Confederate loss of the Valley would cripple the Army of Northern Virginia. Sheridan's eventual victory helped ensure Lincoln's re-election and removed the Confederate threat, hastening the eventual end to the Civil War.
In this title, Mark Lardas explores the origins of American warships, primarily light and medium frigates, built for the Continental Navy during the years 1776-1783. This was the first navy of the United States and much of the fleet was comprised of ships that had been modified from existing vessels, converted into warships to provide a crucial service during the American Revolutionary War. Despite having no real funding, this unique fleet had a surprising amount of success against the might of the Royal Navy, and this title discusses the strengths and weaknesses of each design, and the differences between European and American warships of the time. With a close look at how these ships performed in key battles, as well as the exploits of John Paul Jones - the founding father of the United States Navy - this is a complete, illustrated overview of the ships' service and development until France's entry into the war and the subsequent decline in importance of the Continental Navy.
The Space Shuttle is one of the oldest and most famous manned launch systems - the only launch vehicle that has been used for a longer period of time is the Soviet (now Russian) R-7 booster. By the start of the third millennium, the Space Shuttle had carried crews into space over 85 times. Although not a military structure, the Shuttle had been sold as an all-purpose launch system to be used jointly for military and civilian purposes. Featuring full-colour photos throughout, this book covers the design, development and operational history of a unique vehicle.
The Texas coastline and offshore waters are flat, shallow, featureless, and filled with shoals. Texas waters are subjected to extreme weather, not just hurricanes and tropical storms but also northers and seasonal gales. This, combined with two centuries of naval warfare off Texas waters, produced many shipwrecks of all sorts, from Spanish treasure fleets to simple working boats. The ships of pirates, navies, cotton traders, immigrants, fishermen, and oil shippers line the Texas coast, cover the sea bottom off Texas, and blanket the bottom of Texas rivers. Each wreck has a story, romantic or repellent, prosaic or unusual, but all intriguing.
Ulysses Grant was the United States greatest general since George Washington. Like Washington, Grant's battlefield performance in the Civil War was the only factor standing between the United States continuing as one, indivisible nation. Grant was the keystone of Union victory, a man whose removal would have resulted in the Union cause crumbling into defeat - and the United States dissolving into a collection of competing sovereign states.It was not always so clear cut. Am early military career had ended with his resignation for alleged drunkenness, while in civilian life a number of his business ventured foundered leading to the nickname "Useless" Grant. Then the Civil War began. Because he had military experience - he had gone to West Point and served in the Regular Army as an officer - when Grant enlisted in the Army, he became a Captain in an Illinois volunteer regiment. Through sheer competence - and overcoming a bad reputation - he quickly rose to colonel, brigadier general and then major general Grant. After he led the first successful major Union offensive of the war - which resulted in the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson - "Useless" Grant disappeared, replaced by "Unconditional Surrender" Grant.Despite - or perhaps because of - his ability to win battles, Grant had as many enemies among the officer corps of the Union Army as he had in the Confederate Army. Henry Halleck, Grant's immediate superior in the first years of the Civil War, was reluctant to trust Grant in an independent command, despite Grant's ability to win battles when acting independently. When it appeared that Grant would be relieved after Shiloh, President Lincoln, Grant's biggest supporter scotched this attempt. "I can't spare this man," Lincoln said of Grant, "He fights." When fellow generals claimed Grant was drinking again Lincoln is reputed to have replied "find out what he drinks, and send my other commanders a case!"Grant was also criticized as a poor commander. Many claimed Grant was simply a butcher. He often won in an ugly manner. At Shiloh a disastrous first day was followed with a powerhouse counterattack that swept the Confederates from the field. Vicksburg required several attempts - the first few of which were repulsed - but at the end it yielded to Grant. When Grant moved east and attached himself to the Army of the Potomac he faced the Confederacy's greatest general - Robert E. Lee. Grant and Lee fought a series of battles that caused the Confederacy's strategic position to deteriorate with each battle even though Lee fought achieved what should have been a victory on a tactical level. Yet Grant did win. He was one of the few Union generals that did consistently win. Most of the others that won consistently were Grant's protégées - William T. Sherman, Phillip Sheridan, and James B. McPherson were developed by Grant. Even generals like Joseph Hooker and George Thomas performed better after serving under Grant. Victory had its rewards. In March 1864 Grant was promoted lieutenant-general, the only United States Army officer except for George Washington and Winfield Scott s to achieve that rank. By the end of the war Grant would become the United States Army's first full general since Washington.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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