Knights of the Sea (Hardcover)
"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.
About the Author
David Hanna teaches history at Stuyvesant High School in New York.
Ken Burns "A wonderful read, brings the War of 1812 to life." George C. Daughan, author of 1812: The Navy’s War“Beautifully written, Knights of the Sea delves deeply into the lives and motivations of the two young, but experienced captains who dueled to the death in the famous sea fight between the HMS Boxer and USS Enterprise, shedding new light on the British and American navies during a critical period in their histories.”
Captain Philip Kasky USN (Ret), former commander, USS Suribachi "David Hanna establishes his credibility both as a writer and with the quality and depth of his historical research in Knights of the Sea. His capturing of a little-known maritime battle during the War of 1812 is surprisingly relevant in modern-day exploration of military strategy." Portland Press Herald“In a compact, well-organized and carefully illustrated book, Hanna propels the reader both general and scholarly with sure, swift and colorful prose.”
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."
Library Journal"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."
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."