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Stephen Decatur
PREBLE AND “HIS BOYS” Commodore  Edward  Preble  (fig.  2-5)  fought  as  a lieutenant  in  the  American  Revolution  and  later  in the war with France. He believed in Truxtun’s ideas and   expanded   them.   Having   served   during   the Revolution,   he   also   realized   the   need   for   justly administered discipline. Like Truxtun, he was keenly interested  in  his  blue-jackets;  their  care  and  fair treatment absorbed his attention. Preble also shared responsibility with his officers  and  encouraged  them to  offer  new  ideas.  He  was  generous  in  giving  his subordinates  credit  for   their   achievements   in   the squadron  and  in  urging  promotions  and  honors  for those   who   had   earned   them.   The   mutual   regard between  the  commodore  and  his  young  officers  (all the captains and lieutenants were under 30 years of age) united the fleet in spirit. Preble  taught  his  subordinates  the  necessity  for absolute obedience, unyielding courage, and 134.8 Figure 2-5.-“Take care of your officers.” Commodore Edward Preble commanded the American squadron that smashed the  might of the Barbary pirates in the   Mediterranean during 1803-1804. The training he gave his young subordinates    (who came to be known as Preble’s boys) at that time paid dividends in the War of  1812, when they achieved 17 out of 18  naval victories. 24-hour-a-day efficiency, which have continued to be standards   of   the   U.S.   Navy.   Preble’s   exemplary leadership was proven in the War of 1812, when his “boys”   scored   17   of   the   18   victories   won   by   the American navy in combat. WAR OF 1812 SIGNIFICANT DATES 9 Mar. 1798 George Balfour appointed first surgeon in U.S. Navy. 18 Mar. 1798    Benjamin Stoddert is appointed first Secretary of the Navy. The Navy was outnumbered 40 to 1 in the second war  with  Great  Britain  and  by  1814  had  suffered severe reverses. Our coast was tightly blockaded; our ships   were   driven   from   the   high   seas;   and   our nation’s  capitol  had  been  burned.  Nevertheless,  the Navy  won  a  series  of  frigate  and  sloop-of-war  duels, which  gained  it  a  world  reputation.  These  victories were the result of naval traditions set by some of our greatest  leaders.  We  had  the  best  frigates  in  the world—the tradition of Humphreys; we had the best gunnery in the world—the tradition of  Truxtun;  our morale  was  high—the  tradition  of  Preble;  and  our Navy  had  a  great  fighting  spirit—the  tradition  of John Paul Jones. These  brilliant  frigate  victories  on  the  high  seas had   little   effect   on   the   course   of   the   war   itself. However,   the   naval   leaders   responsible   for   these victories    contributed    much    to    the    building    of traditions in our Navy. ISAAC HULL Before  the  turn  of  the  century,  Hull  had  already made  his  mark  in  history  by  capturing  a  French privateer.  Although  the  French  ship  was  larger  and more  heavily  armed  than  the  ship  he  commanded, Lieutenant   Hull   and   his   men   captured   the   ship without the loss of a single man. Captain  Hull’s  greatest  role  in  naval  history  was as the commanding officer of the Constitution in the battle  against  the Guerriere  commanded  by  Captain Dacres.   During   that   battle,   Hull   quietly   moved among  his  officers  and  men,  addressing  them  with words   of   confidence   and   encouragement   such   as “Men, now do your duty.” And every man stood firm to his post. 2-8

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