Short URL for this page:

[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]

[Link to a series of help pages]
[Link to the next level up]
[Link to my homepage]

[image ALT: link to previous section]
Chapter 30

This webpage reproduces a chapter of
A Short History of the United States Navy

George R. Clark et al.

published by
J. B. Lippincott Company,
Philadelphia & London 1939

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

[image ALT: a blank space]

This site is not affiliated with the US Naval Academy.

 p534  Authorities

This list includes the most important sources consulted, together with some general works that will be found of special help to the student who wishes to pursue the subject further.


R. W. Neeser, Statistical and Chronological History of the United States Navy, 1775‑1907. 1909 to date (in progress). Vols. I‑II.

C. T. Harbeck, A Contribution to the Bibliography of the History of the United States Navy. 1906.

J. N. Larned, History for Ready Reference. 1894‑1901. 6 v.

Excellent bibliographies of a general character will be found in the several volumes of The American Nation, edited by A. B. Hart.


W. O. Stevens and A. Westcott, A History of Sea Power. 1920.

H. F. Krafft and W. B. Norris, Sea Power in American History. 1920.

E. S. Maclay, A History of the United States Navy. 1901. 3 v.

J. R. Spears, The History of Our Navy. 1897‑99. 5 v.

J. F. Cooper, The history of the Navy of the United States of America. 1839. 2 v.

G. F. Emmons, The Navy of the United States, 1775‑1853. 1852. A careful compilation of statistics.

The American Nation: a History. Edited by A. B. Hart, 1904‑18. 28 v.

The Revolution

The Annual Register (Dodsley's Annual Register), 1758 to date (in progress). Published in London; state papers of various kinds.

 p535  Francis Wharton, The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States. 1889. 6 v.

C. O. Paullin, The Navy of the American Revolution. 1906. Deals largely with the administrative side of the early navy.

Mrs. Reginald De Koven, Life and Letters of John Paul Jones. 2v. 1913. An intensely interesting biography of the great leader.

John Paul Jones Commemoration. Edited by C. W. Stewart. 1907.

J. H. Sherburne, Life and Character of the Chevalier John Paul Jones. 1825.

John Fiske, The American Revolution. 1898. 2v.

Wars with France and the Barbary States

The United States' Naval Chronicle. Edited by C. W. Goldsborough. 1824. 2 v. Contains official reports and letters relating to the navy between the Revolution and the War of 1812.

G. W. Allen, Our Naval War with France. 1909.

G. W. Allen, Our Navy and the Barbary Corsairs. 1905.

The Autobiography of Commodore Charles Morris. 1880.

A. S. Mackenzie, Life of Stephen Decatur. 1846.

D. D. Porter, Memoir of Commodore David Porter. 1875.

War of 1812

Niles's Weekly Register, 1811‑1849. 75 v. A weekly, published in Baltimore, containing official reports and other contemporary matter.

The Naval Chronicle, 1799‑1818 (London). 40 v. Contains British reports, court-martial proceedings, etc.

The Naval Monument. Edited by Abel Bowen. 1816. Also contains official reports.

William James, The Naval History of Great Britain. 1878. 6 v. (Originally published 1822‑24.)

William James, Naval Occurrences in the Late War Between Great Britain and the United States of America. 1817. "Seriously marred by the bitterest controversial and partisan spirit." (Babcock.)

A. T. Mahan, Sea Power in its Relations to the War of 1812. Unquestionably the best work on the war.

Theodore Roosevelt, The Naval War of 1812. 1882. Next to Mahan's, the most reliable and scientific treatment of this subject.

The Royal Navy. Edited by W. L. Clowes. 1897. 7 v. A  p536 valuable collection of articles on the history of the British Navy. Among the American contributors are Mahan and Roosevelt.

I. N. Hollis, The Frigate Constitution. 1900.

Samuel Leech, Thirty Years from Home. 1843. Contains a vivid narrative of the battle between the United States and the Macedonian, the author being an English lad in the Macedonian's crew.

Albert Gleaves, James Lawrence. 1904. The work which exposed the myths surrounding the loss of the Chesapeake.

J. F. Cooper, Lives of Distinguished American Naval Officers. 1846. 2 v.

See also biographies of Decatur, Morris, and Porter, already mentioned, and the biography of Farragut mentioned in connection with the Civil War.

Suppression of West Indian Piracy, Slave Trade, Mutiny on the Somers, etc.

A. H. Foote, Africa and the American Flag. 1854.

J. R. Spears, The American Slave Trade. 1900.

Proceedings of the Naval Court-Martial in the Case of A. S. Mackenzie, etc. Edited by J. F. Cooper. 1844. A complete record of the court-martial, to which is added the criticisms of the editor on the conduct of Commander Mackenzie.

Park Benjamin, The United States Naval Academy. 1900. This contains also an excellent treatment of the mutiny on the Somers.

See also biographies of Farragut and Porter.

Mexican War

Annual Reports of the Secretary of the Navy.

H. H. Bancroft, History of California. 1884‑90. 7 v.

See biographies of Farragut and David D. Porter.

Perry's Expedition to Japan

Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan. 1856. 3 v. This was published by order of Congress and was compiled from original notes and journals of Commodore Perry and his officers, under his supervision. The first volume, by Francis L. Hawks, contains the material of chief interest.

W. E. Griffis, Matthew Calbraith Perry. 1887.

 p537  C. O. Paullin, Diplomatic Negotiations of American Naval Officers, 1778‑1883. 1912. Contains an excellent account not only of the service of Commodore Perry in Japan but also of Commodore Kearney in China, and Commodore Shufeldt in Korea.

Civil War

Of the first importance, together with the Reports of the Secretary of the Navy, are the two following works:

Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. 1894‑1922. Vols. 1‑30.

Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. 1880‑1902. 128 v.

Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. 4 v. 1884‑87. Narratives by the Union and Confederate officers, of great interest and value. [Online: Vols.  I •  II •  III •  IV.]

Also of importance are many of the papers read before the Loyal Legion and various other societies of veterans.

D. D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War. 1886.

J. T. Scharf, History of the Confederate States Navy. 1887.

Rear Admiral Du Pont, Official Dispatches and Letters of. 1883.

Loyall Farragut, The Life of David Glasgow Farragut. 1879.

A. T. Mahan, Admiral Farragut. 1892.

W. C. Church, The Life of John Ericsson. 1891. 2 v.

J. M. Hoppin, Life of Andrew Hull Foote. 1874.

Gideon Welles, The Diary of. 3 v. 1911.

J. G. Nicolay and John Hay, Abraham Lincoln, a History. 1890. 10 v.

J. M. Ellicott, The Life of John Ancrum Winslow. 1902.

Raphael Semmes, Memoirs of Service Afloat. 1869.

Arthur Sinclair, Two Years on the Alabama. 1896.

U. S. Grant, Personal Memoirs. 1885‑86. 2 v. Chapters 20‑22 and 31‑39 relate to the combined movements of the army and navy against Forts Henry and Donelson and against Vicksburg.

Henry Walke, Naval Scenes and Reminiscences of the Civil War. 1877. As commander of the Carondelet, the author had part in the most stirring scenes on the Western rivers.

C. S. Alden, George Hamilton Perkins, Commodore, U. S. N., His Life and Letters. 1914. The letters by a young officer who took a distinguished part in the battles of New Orleans and Mobile Bay give a vivid picture of those engagements.

 p538  J. Wilkinson, The Narrative of a Blockade-Runner. 1877. The account of a captain in the Confederate Navy, highly success­ful in eluding the blockade.

W. H. Parker, Recollections of a Naval Officer, 1841‑1865. 1883.

Daniel Ammen, The Atlantic Coast. 1883.

A. T. Mahan, The Gulf and Inland Waters. 1883.

A. T. Mahan, From Sail to Steam. 1907.

J. R. Soley, The Blockade and the Cruisers. 1883.

H. W. Wilson, Ironclads in Action. 1896. 2 v.

J. S. Barnes, Submarine Warfare. 1869. An account by a Union officer of the torpedoes, torpedo‑boats, and submarines used during the war.

J. F. Rhodes, History of the United States from 1850. 1893‑1906. 7 v.

B. J. Lossing, Pictorial History of the Civil War. 1866. 3 v.

T. L. Harris, The Trent Affair. 1896. A careful and exhaustive study.

Mountague Bernard, A Historical Account of the Neutrality of Great Britain During the American Civil War. 1870.

J. W. H. Porter, A Record of Events in Norfolk County. 1892. Interesting data on the construction of the ironclad Merrimac.

F. M. Bennett, The Monitor and Navy Under Steam. 1900.

D. B. Phillips, The Career of the Ironclad Virginia. (In Virginia Historical Collection, vol. 6.)

Charles Martin, Personal Reminiscences of the Monitor and Merrimac Engagement. 1886.

T. O. Selfridge, Jr., The Story of the Cumberland. (Published for the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts. 1902.)

I. N. Stiles, The Merrimac and the Monitor. (In Military Essays and Recollections. 1891.)

Senate Report, No. 37, 37th Cong., 2d Sess. By Sen. Hale on the surrender of the navy yards at Pensacola and Norfolk.

House Report, No. 1725, 48th Cong., 1st Sess. (in vol. 6). Relating to the U. S. S. Monitor.

F. A. Parker, The Battle of Mobile Bay. 1878.

The Navy after the Civil War

Annual Reports of the Secretary of the Navy.

Charles Morris, The Nation's Navy. 1898.

J. D. Long, The New American Navy. 1903. 2 v.

 p539  G. W. Melville, In the Lena Delta. 1885. A personal narrative of the chief engine of the Jeannette Expedition.

The Voyage of the Jeannette. 1884. 2 v. DeLong's journal, edited by his wife, Emma DeLong.

A. W. Greely, Handbook of Polar Discoveries. 1906.

W. S. Schley and J. R. Soley, The Rescue of Greely. 1906.

R. E. Peary, Nearest the Pole. 1907.

R. E. Peary, The North Pole. 1910.

Franklin Matthews, With the Battle Fleet. 1908.

Franklin Matthews, Back to Hampton Roads. 1909.

The War with Spain

Annual Reports of the Secretary of the Navy.

F. E. Chadwick, The Relations of the United States and Spain. 2 v. 1911. The most authoritative work on the Spanish-American War.

J. F. Rhodes, The McKinley and Roosevelt Administrations. 1922. A scholar­ly work.

W. A. M. Goode, With Sampson Through the War. 1899.

A. T. Mahan, Lessons of the War with Spain and Other Articles. 1899.

The Naval Annual. Edited by F. A. Brassey. 1893 to date (in progress). A reliable authority on naval statistics.

H. W. Wilson, The Downfall of Spain. 1900. An able work, non‑partisan in character, written by an Englishman.

R. H. Titherington, A History of the Spanish-American War of 1898. 1900.

Office of Naval Intelligence. Notes on the Spanish-American War. 1900. Contains comments by Spanish, German, and American officers on the war.

The World War

Annual Reports of the Secretary of the Navy.

W. S. Sims and B. J. Henrick, The Victory at Sea. 1920. A general account of the war. Admiral Sims, directing American naval affairs from the London office, was most intimately in touch with the large operations.

Albert Gleaves, A History of the Transport Service. 1921. An authoritative account by the one in charge of the transport service.

 p540  C. S. Alden and Ralph Earle, Makers of Naval Tradition. 1925. Chap. XIV, on the World war, by Admiral Earle, is significant as written by the Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance, who was responsible for the Northern Mine Barrage and the Mounted Naval Railway Batteries.

E. V. Izac, The Prisoner of the U‑90. 1919. A vivid account of the experience of an American lieutenant who was on the President Lincoln when torpedoed. Unfortunately out of print.

Reinhard Scheer, Germany's High Sea Fleet in the World War. 1920. Gives the other side.

A. P. F. von Tirpitz, My Memories. 2 v. 1919.

The Navy and Foreign Affairs

R. G. Adams, A History of the Foreign Policy of the United States. 1924.

J. Q. Dealey, Foreign Policies of the United States. 1926.

C. L. Jones, Caribbean Interests of the United States. 1916.

J. H. Latane, United States and Latin America. 1920.

C. A. Herrick, History of Commerce and Industry. 1920.

P. M. Brown, International Realities. 1917.

Senate Documents, 67th Congress, 2d Session, 1921‑1922. v. 10. Official report of the Washington Conference.

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 22 Sep 21