Guide John Barry: An American Hero in the Age of Sail

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He gave commands in a clear, steady voice, and his presence, unaffected by the iron and lead flying around him, gave hope and renewed confidence to the Alliances, even as their comrades fell around them The ocean was still enough to perfectly reflect the carnage above it. Until this instant, John Barry had gone untouched in his battles with the British.


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A grape ball slammed into his left shoulder. The impact threw him on his back, and he hit the quarterdeck with a sudden thud For a few minutes he remained on the quarterdeck, directing the action, while his voice grew noticeably weaker. Bleeding profusely, he became lightheaded, and standing became difficult Wherever he looked, he saw mounting defeat: sails full of holes, rigging in tatters, the deck awash with blood and strewn with debris—all on a frigate crippled by lack of wind. Then he left the quarterdeck for the cockpit.


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It took unquestioned bravery to face enemy fire, but for Hacker to go below and tell Barry what he had in mind took every speck of his courage. With unannounced quietness, and ever so gently, the wind returned Every sailor on deck could feel it on their sweat-stained cheeks.

They breathed it into their lungs, and held it in for a second, then exhaled as they watched it slowly, surely, puff out their tattered sails. Immediately, he bellowed orders as the ship responded to the long awaited, simple change in the weather—a soft breeze. Now such nearness was folly.

John Barry: An American Hero in the Age of Sail - Paoli Battlefield Preservation Fund Inc.

Edwards and his crew heard a sharp crack, then another. They knew at once what was coming next. Is it action or attributes? Portrait by Gilbert Stuart , circa In this painting was on indefinite loan to the White House. It was then owned by Peter Brady. Courtesy of the White House, Washington, D.

John Barry - An American Hero in the Age of Sail (Paperback)

Official U. Navy Photograph. We kicked off the series with John Paul Jones. But as our esteemed senior historian, Michael Crawford, Ph.

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Navy and its Continental counterpart had more than one legendary Navy captain. Navy, died at the age of While many Navy enthusiasts claim Jones deserves the title of Father of the U. To sum up the difference between the two men, Jones would at first coyly defer such a title, while agreeing how brilliant the people were to bestow it on him.

Barry, however, would likely dismiss such nonsense, stating such a grand title was too big for any one man to hold. Estimated to be around 6-foot-4 inches, Barry was an imposing presence. The diminutive Jones, however, had a penchant for prose and poetry that propagated his seafaring tales and amused his lady friends.

An American hero time forgot

Pierre Landais. Barry was born March 25, , at the port village of Tacumshane, Ireland.


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His father farmed property owned by a British landlord until the family was evicted. The novice quickly learned navigational skills by combining mathematics with astrology and meteorology, and how to fix repairs while underway.

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By age 15, he came to the American colony, landing in the port city of Philadelphia and finding employment among the growing merchant industry. A master seaman by age 21, he earned command of his own ship, the Barbados. As a leader, Barry was considered a fair disciplinarian who cared for the men working for him.

He was also known to be deeply religious, starting each morning at sea reading passages from his Bible. By the time he was 30, Barry was an accomplished sea captain on the trade route between Philadelphia and the West Indies. Barry was designated a captain in the newly-formed Continental Navy, and oversaw the outfitting the Black Prince into the warship renamed Alfred, soon to become the flagship of Commodore Esek Hopkins.

Barry was given the command of the brig Lexington , on which he was credited with the first capture of the American Revolution, the British sloop Edward off the Capes of Virginia on April 7, He remained in command until loss of blood caused him to lose consciousness. Taken below decks, Barry was having his wounds dressed when his second-in-command, Lt.