Saturday, June 22, 2013

Defence Of Craney Island

Note:  The 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Craney Island will be commemorated this weekend.

A critique of an historical account from the Virginia Historical Register, in an article entitled The Defence Of Craney Island:

"Mr. Editor, — In looking into Howison's History of Virginia, I have been surprised to see what a slight and incorrect account he has given of the Defence of Craney Island, which I have always regarded as a very brilliant affair, and highly honorable to our State; and I cannot help feeling it to be a duty which I owe to the Commonwealth, and to the memory of a gallant man who has been strangely overlooked by this narrative, to point out its errors and defects."

"Mr. H.'s account is in the following words:" 
" Craney Island lies near the mouth of Elizabeth river, and commands the approach from Hampton Roads to Norfolk, Its defence, therefore, became all important; and Commodore Cassin resolved that it should not be taken without a desperate conflict."

"Now it is really curious to see how many errors, both of omission and commission, Mr. H. has contrived to make in this short passage; and I will briefly indicate them for his correction in his next edition.

1. "Commodore Cassin resolved that it should not be taken without a desperate conflict."  "This implies that Com. C., was the commanding officer on the occasion, and the hero of the day; but the fact is, that General Robert B. Taylor, was the commander-in-chief of the military district in which the island was situated, and of all the land forces within it ; and of course ordered and directed the defence of the position on that day."

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