Saturday, July 12, 2014

War-Weary New London


The Day newspaper published an online edition article entitled "War-weary New London suffered through blockade and standoff."

"The last thing New London needed in 1812 was another war."

"Three decades after the city was burned by Benedict Arnold during the Revolution, it was a primitive backwater...rebuilding from its destruction...hopeful the new industry of whaling would bring better days."

"But the war did not reach New London for nearly a year. When it did, it was brought not by the enemy, but by an American hero [Commodore Stephen Decatur]."

"...Decatur set out from New York with his three-ship squadron. Near the eastern end of Long Island Sound, they encountered British warships and retreated into the nearest harbor, New London.  The British had managed to trap what amounted to a sizable chunk of the tiny U.S. Navy and quickly established a blockade."

A synopsis of Decatur's actions at New London, Connecticut:
"Commodore Decatur, in 1814, command of a squadron, with the Macedonian equipped as an American frigate, and was blockaded at New London by a far superior British naval force. He challenged the British commander to meet him with any two of his ships, with two American frigates, but the British admiral declined. In January, 1815, he fell in with a British squadron of four ships and was captured, as his vessel had been injured in passing a bar, and retarded in her sailing--before he surrendered however, he silenced one of the British ships, with which had a running fight of two hours."

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