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Rebels Under Sail: The American Navy during the Revolution
Almost as soon as the smoke had settled at Lexington and Concord, the American Revolution was being fought on the sea as well as the land. A fragile and disunited coalition of thirteen colonies, embarking on a war with a great naval power, began to build a navy for the "preservation of the lives, liberty and property of the good people of these Colonies". Rebels Under Sail ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published 1976 by Charles Scribner's Sons
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In my semi-retirement (read dotage), I have re-taken up wooden ship modeling, and with it comes reading source materials and other research. So one of my friends, Vince Murphy, and I are putting together a scratch-built British gunboat from the War of 1812. Vince loaned me this book for some background and reference(a 50-page chapter on "The Gunboat Navy" from Howard Chapelle's "History of the American Sailing Navy" was also most helpful). I found this work, scholarly as it was, to be a fascinat ...more
Jun 30, 2009 Matt rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
Rebels Under Sail is an excellent one volume edition of the naval war for the Colonists during the Revolutionary War. Dr. Fowler (I must admit I'm a huge fan of Dr. Fowler's works) has masterfully crafted this book into three complementing sections, of the politics behind the Continental fleet, the actions of the Continental fleet and the ships and men of the Continental fleet. Dr. Fowler is able to convey the difficulties faced by Congress, builders and the men serving in the fleet (both office ...more
Fowler's book is well-written and well-researched. However, it is slow-moving and lacks some details which I find compelling - armaments/rating of the ships, etc. He also glosses over a lot of the deep-water expeditions which is unfortunate. It is comprehensive - almost every action is at least mentioned and he does give insights into the inner working (failings?) of the Continental Navy administration. ...more
William Morgan Fowler Jr. is a professor of history at Northeastern University, Boston and an author. He served as Director of the Massachusetts Historical Society from 1998 through 2005. He earned his BA from the University of Indiana in 1967 and his MA and Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame.