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PREFACE

The contents of this volume were first contributed as a chapter, under the title of " Major Operations, 1762-1783," to the "History of the Royal Navy," in seven volumes, published by Messrs. Sampson Low, Marston, and Company, under the general editorship of the late Sir William Laird Clowes. For permission to republish now in this separate form, the author has to express his thanks to the publishers of that work.

In the Introduction following this Preface, the author has summarized the general lesson to be derived from the course of this War of American Independence, as distinct from the particular discussion and narration of the several events which constitute the body of the treatment. These lessons he conceives to carry admonition for the present and future based upon the surest foundations; namely, upon the experience of the past as applicable to present conditions. The essential similarity between the two is evident in a common dependence upon naval strength.

There has been a careful rereading and revision of the whole text; but the changes found necessary to be made are much fewer than might have been anticipated after the lapse of fifteen years. Numerous footnotes in the History, specifying the names of ships in fleets, and of their commanders in various battles, have been omitted, as not necessary to the present purpose, though eminently proper and indeed indispensable to an extensive work of general reference and of encyclopaedic scope, such as the History is. Certain notes retained with the inititials W. L. C. are due to the editor of that work.

A. T. MAHAN.

December, 1912.

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PAGE

Consequent Necessity to the Americans of a Counterpoise to British

Navy 6

This obtained through Burgoyne's Surrender 6

The Surrender of Burgoyne traceable directly to the Naval Cam-

paigns on Lake Champlain, 1776, 1776 7

The subsequent Course of the War in all Quarters of the world due

to that decisive Campaign 7

The Strategic Problem of Lake Champlain familiar to Americans

from the Wars between France and Great Britain prior to 1776 8

Consequent prompt Initiative by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold 8

Energetic Pursuit of first Successes by Arnold 9

Complete Control of Lake Champlain thus secured .... 9

Invasion of Canada by Montgomery, 1775 9

Arnold marches through Maine Wilderness and joins Montgomery

before Quebec .10

Assault on Quebec. Failure, and Death of Montgomery . . 10

Arnold maintains Blockade of Quebec, 1776 10

Relief of the Place by British Navy . 11

Arnold Retreats to Crown Point 12

Arnold's Schemes and Diligence to create a Lake Navy, 1776 . . 13

Difficulties to be overcome 18

Superior Advantages of the British 13

The British by building acquire Superiority, but too late for effect

in 1776 13

Ultimate Consequences from this Retardation 14

Constitution of the Naval Force raised by Arnold .... 14

He moves with it to the foot of Lake Champlain .... 16

Takes position for Defence at Valcour Island 16

Particular Difficulties encountered by British 16

Constitution of the British Lake Navy 16

Land Forces of the Opponents 17

Naval Forces of the Two at the Battle of Valcour Island ... 17

Magnitude of the Stake at Issue .18

Arnold's Purposes and Plans 18

Advance of the British 19

Arnold's Disposition of his Flotilla to receive Attack ... 20

The Battle of Valcour Island 21

The Americans Worsted 22

Arnold Retreats by night Undetected 23

Pursuit by the British 24

Destruction of the American Vessels 25

British Appreciation of the Importance of the Action, as shown . 26

Criticism of the conduct of the Opposing Leaders .... 26

Arnold's Merit and Gallantry 27
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