Revolutionary War News is an edited review of hand-picked news and articles related to American War of Independence 1775-1783.

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Navy: Naval Forces & Battles

Latest hand-picked Revolutionary War news.

Sunken British ships are focus of Newport archaeology project
The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP) is engaged in a multi-year search to locate and identify 13 British transport ships that sunk in Newport Harbor in 1778. The British navy scuttled the ships in an effort to blockade the French fleet that was threatening the city. The current RIMAP search is particularly focused on a transport called the Lord Sandwich, which was one of the 13 scuttled ships. The reason for this focus is that the Lord Sandwich was formerly known as the Endeavour, the bark that explorer Captain James Cook sailed on his first circumnavigation of the globe.
(jamestownpress.com)

Utah divers bring up revolutionary war ship Le Scipion off the coast of Dominican Republic
Underwater recovery company Deep Blue Marine is currently exploring the wreck of Le Scipion, located near the Dominican Republic, and so far their divers have salvaged Revolutionary War musketballs, coins, buttons, and an intact vinaigrette.
(deseretnews.com)

John Barry: An American Hero in the Age of Sail by Tim McGrath (book review)
Only two American naval officers - John Paul Jones and John Barry - emerged from the small, hastily set up Continental Navy with true hero status after the war.
(wsj.com)

British warship HMS Somerset III resurfaces off Cape Cod
The wreck of the British warship HMS Somerset III has reappeared in the shifting sands off Cape Cod and park officials are seizing the moment and having the wreck "digitally preserved" using 3D imaging technology.
(boston.com)

Privateers help end Revolutionary War - Citizen sailors plundered British ships
The Revolutionary War and commerce came together to create a storm called privateering: Private citizens attempting to seize the booty of British supply vessels at their own risk.
(washingtontimes.com)

Plans to rescue wreck of Revolutionary War gunboat from Lake Champlain
Revolutionary War gunboat - called The Spitfire - was sunk by the British at the Battle of Valcour Island, one of 8 identical boats that held back the British advance from Canada.
(wcax.com)

British warship HMS Ontario, which sank during the American War of Independence, found
Warship HMS Ontario has been found in great condition at the bottom of Lake Ontario. It is the oldest shipwreck and only really intact British warship ever discovered in the Great Lakes.
(telegraph.co.uk)

Revolutionary War remnant pulled from Delaware River
Maritime archaeologist J. Lee Cox Jr. was exploring the bottom of the Delaware River when he got a hit on the sonar: a iron-tipped log once embedded in the river to gore the hulls of British warships.
(pittsburghlive)

Remnants of major naval defeat found - Penobscot Expedition of 1779   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The 1779 Penobscot Expedition was the largest Revolutionary War naval expedition - and worst naval defeat in American history until Pearl Harbor.
(bangornews)

US debt to the French: the greatest naval battle in American waters
Two great fleets, French and British, formed battle lines. And then, out of sight of land, sounds of gunfire rolled across the sea like thunder. This, George Washington stated, was the pivot around which the battle of Yorktown turned.
(yorktownpatriot)

John Paul Jones: The Scot who saw off the Sassenachs
Born in Scotland, John Paul Jones fled to America and in 1779 commanded a vessel which won a surprising victory over a British frigate.
(independent.co.uk)

Colonial submarine replica causes scare in New York Harbor
A replica of a Revolutionary War submarine frightened New York City and the U.S. Coast Guard when the egg-shaped vessel was spotted near the Queen Mary 2 luxury liner.
(usatoday)

French town builds replica of the 44-meter frigate Hermione
For a decade now, historians and craftsmen have worked to recreate the Hermione, the 44-meter, 32-gun, 3-masted frigate that in 1780 carried French nobleman Marquis de Lafayette on a 38-day voyage to Boston.
(iht)

Will the North Sea give up America's most prized naval treasure
A group of American scientists began a Б175,000 expedition in search of a wreck of USS Bonhomme Richard, which sank in 1779 after a sea battle with the British Navy 25 miles off the Yorkshire coast.
(yorkshirepost)

Six Frigates: The navy was created to stop looting
After 1776, the merchant ships of the former American colonies weren't protected by the Royal Navy. For the first time, rich and defenceless merchant vessels, flying the Stars and Stripes, came to be seen in foreign ports. They suffered in the Mediterranean at the hands of the Barbary States which practised piracy. American ships were captured by corsairs operating out of ancient North African sea ports. Crew members were sold into slavery, women to harems. Thus a closely divided US Congress came to enact a resolution for the provision of a naval force "adequate to the protection of the commerce of the US against the Algerian corsairs."
(smh)

Bonhomme Richard, captained by naval hero John Paul Jones
A coalition of scientists, historians, and nations get closer than ever before to locating the shipwrecked remains of the Bonhomme Richard, one of the most famous ships in U.S. history using computer modeling technology. The Bonhomme Richard, captained by American naval hero John Paul Jones, sank in the North Sea in 1779, after claiming victory over the British ship HMS Serapis in one of the most pivotal battles of the Revolutionary War.
(wirelessworkforceonline)

Shipwreck recovery resumes - date range got from artifacts   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The recovery of artifacts from an 18th-century shipwreck and the search for the vessel's name has resumed, and found objects are being added to a local museum's collection. Researchers believe they know the name of the ship and when it sunk, but they cannot fully confirm it. There were four possible ships the wreck could be: the Vaughn, Pitt Packet, Commerce and Severn. "The Severn is the best candidate," said Daniel Griffith. After researching the period of manufacture of the artifacts found, researchers were able to establish a date range of 1769-1775 for the wreck.
(delmarvanow)

Replica ship retraces colonist route -- History alive
Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg and Yorktown, Va., are part of the Historic Triangle, "two centuries of history in 23 miles", all on the Virginia peninsula. There are two Jamestowns and 3 Yorktowns: Yorktown Battlefield, Yorktown Victory Center and the little village of Yorktown, a tiny community with antiques shops and its own museums. This is a big year for the Triangle: In addition to the new museums and visitor center at Jamestown, the battlefield park is celebrating the 225th anniversary of the British surrender on Oct. 19, 1781. And next April, the replica ship Godspeed will retrace the colonists' route, reaching Jamestown May 11-13.
(sfgate)

Traces of wreck made famous by the founder of the US navy
An operation to locate the wreck of a ship made famous by Solway sailor John Paul Jones has identified what could be part of the vessel. Jones - considered to be the founder of the U.S. navy - captained the Bonhomme Richard which sank in 1779 off Flamborough Head in East Yorkshire. Jones famously engaged the British ship Serapis off Flamborough Head. He captured Serapis but had to watch his own ship sink. The battle on 23 September, 1779, is counted as one of the most unforgettable battles of the American Revolution.
(bbc)

One of the most famous wrecks in the naval history of the US
A team will begin the search in earnest for one of the most famous wrecks in the naval history of the United States. The remains of the warship Bonhomme Richard lie somewhere off the East Coast of Yorkshire - but for decades have eluded the best efforts of some of the top wreckhunters in the world. It foundered after a battle with British warship Serapis in 1779, during the American War of Independence.
(yorkshirepost.co.uk)

Artifacts from 1776 fleet go on display - America's first fleet   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The American naval force hastily thrown together by Benedict Arnold 230 years ago was small, but it played a big role in the outcome of the Revolutionary War. Now, more artifacts from America's first fleet are on display near the Lake Champlain site where they were recovered by a marine archaeology project. Divers have found pieces of a gunboat's cannon and a sword. In October 1776, a 15-ship American fleet commanded by Arnold -- before he turned traitor -- engaged a larger British force at Valcour. Although the redcoats won the battle, their plans to invade the colonies from the north were put on hold, giving American forces time to regroup.
(wcax)