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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 28. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones) 2 0 Browse Search
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War. 1 1 Browse Search
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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 57: the ram Stonewall. (search)
ry power in deciding whether or not to join battle with an enemy's ships or with an enemy's forts?--for the principle applies to both. In the light of later events, the leniency of the court at that time is generally approved, and, taking into consideration the high character of the officers who composed it, it would have been but courteous to them had the revising power yielded to their opinion, which was, without doubt, the result of their honest convictions. It has been conceded that Admiral Byng, of the British Navy, was unjustly shot, to satisfy public opinion. There was no necessity on this occasion for such an example. No man could know whether or not the affair at Corunna was an error of judgment — in fact, no one could tell whether it was not the right course to pursue. Any officer commanding two wooden ships of the same kind to-day could feel perfectly justified in avoiding a battle with a modern iron-clad ram — whether the cases are analagous, the reader must be the jud