Knights of the Sea: The True Story of the Boxer and the Enterprise and the War of 1812

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Overview

On a September day in 1813, as the Age of Fighting Sail was coming to an end, two maritime warriors faced each other in the waters off Pemaquid Point, Maine...

Samuel Blyth was the youthful commander of His Britannic Majesty's brig Boxer, and William Burrows, younger still, commanded the USS Enterprise. Both men valued honor over life and death, and on this day their commitment would be put to the ultimate test.

The battle between the Boxer and...

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Knights of the Sea: The True Story of the Boxer and the Enterprise and the War of 1812

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Overview

On a September day in 1813, as the Age of Fighting Sail was coming to an end, two maritime warriors faced each other in the waters off Pemaquid Point, Maine...

Samuel Blyth was the youthful commander of His Britannic Majesty's brig Boxer, and William Burrows, younger still, commanded the USS Enterprise. Both men valued honor over life and death, and on this day their commitment would be put to the ultimate test.

The battle between the Boxer and the Enterprise would be the only major sea engagement of the War of 1812 witnessed by people on land, and, though it lasted less than an hour, was a brutal contest whose outcome was uncertain. When the cannon smoke cleared, good men had been lost, and the U.S. Navy's position in the war had changed.

In Knights of the Sea, David Hanna brings to vivid life a lost era-a time when sailing vessels exchanged broadsides and naval officers considered it the highest honor to harness the wind to meet their foes. This history pays tribute to the young commanders on either side, a vanishing breed who would come to be standard bearers of courage and fortitude, and would be immortalized in words by the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Includes Illustrations Throughout

The battle between the Boxer and the Enterprise came to represent for those who witnessed it, lived through it, and remembered it something more than a military turning point-it became emblematic of a maritime era that would soon be gone forever.

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Editorial Reviews

Bangor Daily News

"In Hanna’s skilled storytelling, heroic seamen and stout ships come alive in this rousing tale and converge on the Maine coast for a short, bloody sea battle... The well-illustrated Knights of the Sea is a great read for folks interested in Maine or maritime history. Hanna does his heroes and their forgotten war justice."

DownEast magazine

"When wars two hundred years in the past sound eerily like today’s contemporary events, it’s time to sit up and take notice. And even when that history is about a relatively obscure naval engagement off the coast of Maine, the lessons it offers about individual sacrifice can be far-reaching, compelling—and also a bit unsettling. In his newly-published book, David Hanna has taken a potentially dry subject and given it new life with a modern perspective and sympathy for the men directly involved in the forgotten Maine conflict."

History in Review

"This book is academically rigorous, yet the narrative is engaging and thrilling to read. In short, Hanna makes history fun and I highly recommend this book to anyone who thinks that history 'has to be' dull and boring. As well, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the War of 1812, maritime history and warfare, or who is simply looking for an interesting and factual story to read."

Library Journal
On September 5, 1813, two relatively small but evenly matched ships of war, the brigs HMS Boxer (12 guns) and USS Enterprise (14 guns), met in action as opponents during the War of 1812. While not an uncommon occurrence during the "Age of Fighting Sail," this episode occurred off the coast of Pemaquid Point, ME, and was actually witnessed by civilians on land. The battle lasted less than one hour but was brutal and bloody, with both commanders themselves becoming casualties. Hanna (history, University Neighborhood H.S., New York), an award-winning teacher, has taken this relatively insignificant event and focused on the lives of the two commanders, the two navies, and the two countries involved in the war. He uses the opinions, principles, and motivations of the two captains, Samuel Blyth of Portsmouth, England, and William Burrows of Philadelphia, to bring to life this second American war of independence. Behind this is the larger discussion of the politics and global events that led to the conflict. VERDICT Highly readable, this book will appeal to those interested in naval warfare and the War of 1812 as well as those with any interest in early U.S. history. Strongly recommended.—David Lee Poremba, Windermere, FL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451235626
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/3/2012
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

David Hanna teaches history at Stuyvesant High School in New York.

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Table of Contents

Prologue September 5, 1813 1

Chapter 1 Portsmouth, England 11

Chapter 2 Philadelphia 33

Chapter 3 The Boxer 63

Chapter 4 The Enterprise 91

Chapter 5 The War 115

Chapter 6 The Maritime War 139

Chapter 7 Home Front 157

Chapter 8 The Battle 175

Chapter 9 The Brotherhood 201

Epilogue July 15, 2007 211

Appendix A Court-martial of Boxer's Surviving Officers 223

Appendix B Court-martial of William Harper (selected excerpts) 227

Selected Bibliography 241

Endnotes 247

Index 263

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    Thoroughly good read! Too many of these maritime history books b

    Thoroughly good read! Too many of these maritime history books beat you over the head with nautical jargon, and the bigger picture gets lost. After finishing the book I felt like I knew these two naval officers who commanded in the battle (Blyth& Burrows), and how they died in such a stupid war. Kudos to Hanna for bringing light to both.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 31, 2012

    Hanna writes with such passion, it's hard not to get swept up in

    Hanna writes with such passion, it's hard not to get swept up in this story. Highly readable.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2013

    Find it interesting that the author thinks the British impressme

    Find it interesting that the author thinks the British impressment of U.S. citizens aboard U.S. ships was a necessary good that the British had to undertake in order to "keep the wolves at bay" for the good of the U.S. as well as the British.

    I thought this book was going to be about a specific sea battle between two ships during the war of 1812 but only about 10% of the book was devoted to the actual battle. The author decided to take the book into the pacific, the great lakes and land battles and other subjects for some reason, perhaps to fill up enough pages to publish a book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2012

    Joana

    Oh! Srry i took a while. Lets go bak to our book. Who cares wat ppl say! Meet u at 1D wat makes u beuatiful book!!! Vanessa

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2012

    Vanessa

    Hey im sorry i have to go

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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