Hey, it's good to see some Naval interest on this list. Anyone would
think, from reading the last 2 months or so of contributions since I
joined, that this was purely a land war, whereas in fact it was a
naval war par excellence - perhaps it may not look so from a Canadian
viewpoint, but it does generally from a British one, obviously with a
number of significant land actions attached.
Naval actions are, quite clearly, far more difficult to re-enact.
Here's one for you, though - if any of you are planning to be in
Britain a month from now, you should not miss the International
Festival of the Sea at Portsmouth, in the Naval Base, the Historic
Dockyard, &c., August 24th-27th.
Now the world's largest maritime festival, I hear tell this year at
least it has everything from 10thC vessels (Saxon Longship) through
15thC (Matthew), REAL 16thC (Mary Rose), 17thC (Shtandart), 18th-
early 19th (frigate, REAL 1765 "Victory" as in October 1805, French
corsair cutter of 1812, French privateer schooner). REAL 19th
("Warrior", 1860), some 30 visiting 20thC square-riggers alone,
including the world's largest, the big 4-masted barques (US: barks)
from Russia, hundreds more vessels, sail, steam and power, the Royal
Navy and warships from about 15 other countries, up to the latest
21stC US destroyer "Winston S. Churchill", music from rock though
classical and shanties to the band of the Royal Marines, fireworks
over Portsmouth Harbour, sea battles, hundreds of sideshows, food,
drink, a 4-day party, and, just one of these comprises
.some 400 contemporary Georgian people in Anchor Lane/Spice Island
in August 1801, the news of Nelson's failure in the attacks on
Napoleon's invasion flotillas gathered around Boulogne filtering
through, invasion feared at any time; e.g., a Naval post-captain, 4th
Lieutenant and Midshipman of the "Impétueux" (80), Admiral Duncan
and a Nelson too and many other officers and men of His Britannick
Majesty's Navy, Army and Marines, King Geo. III himself, and other
1801 personages from the aristocracy, officers and gentry down to
washerwomen, beggars, thieves, strumpets and trollops.
Au quai, au quai, it's not 1812, only 1801 but if any of you are
coming, let me know here and I shall leave you word of whom to
enquire in order to find me, and they will do their best to inform
you in what dalliance or duty I may currently find myself engaged.
Website of the festival is at http://www.festivalofthesea.co.uk/
I am, Sirs and Ma'ams, and Trust I may ever have the Honour to
remain, your most humble and Obd't Servant