Chapter OneI am now Applying myself with all diligence to the Business of the Navy Board...but I think it peculiarly Unhappy that we Enter on this Business when the Circumstances of the Fleet are far from being such as promises any Hopes that we can gratify the Expecta-tions of the people...
-- JAMES WARREN
WRITING TO JOHN ADAMS
SEPTEMBER 7, 1777
The wind blew cold, steady and strong, striking the New Jersey coast at an oblique angle and sending up a line of breakers miles long. The Continental brig-of-war Charlemagne
was half a league off the coast, far enough to be beyond the immediate threat...