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By James C. Bradford

The USA, Sea energy, and the realm

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Extra info for America, Sea Power, and the World

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In January 1776, partially in an attempt to mollify southern opposition, Congress ordered Esek Hopkins, commander of the new Continental Navy, to sail to Chesapeake Bay and capture or drive off Loyalist forces that were raiding towns and plantations in Virginia and Maryland, and then to proceed to the Carolinas and do the same thing there. But Hopkins, exploiting a loophole in his orders, sailed instead to New Providence Island in the Bahamas. Arriving in March 1776, Hopkins landed 250 sailors and marines who captured 88 cannon and 15 mortars but failed to secure the powder so badly needed by Washington’s army.

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.

US Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. War of the Grand Alliance (1688–1697) France emerged from the Franco‐Dutch War as the most powerful nation in Europe, yet Louis XIV sought to extend French territory further to the north and east. His aggression precipitated the War of the Grand Alliance, in which the Anglo‐Dutch leader,William of Orange, formed the Grand Alliance, which included England, to contain France. Military operations centered in the Rhineland but spread to Asia and the Caribbean, where the English and Dutch navies gave them an advantage.

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