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The post-Civil War era was a low point in the development of the U.S. Navy, with the American fleet having been reduced to a handful of mid-19th century-era warships. The Navy that had just a decade earlier had strangled the Confederacy into submission, had been reduced to a 3rd rate force that lack any credibility with the great navies of Europe. The situation became a genuine national interest, when in 1874 a fleet exercise off of Key West for the decrepit collection of ships that passed for a Navy, turned into a public farce. Shortly thereafter, the new President of the United States, James A. Garfield, formed the first naval board to make recommendations to both Congress and the Administration on future warship and weapons acquisitions. It was, truly the beginning of the modern U.S. Navy.
To learn more about this developmental period in US Navy history, join military historian, author and journalist John D. Gresham (@greshamj01) for Military Monday (#MilitaryMonday on Writestream) at 1 p.m. Eastern. His guests this week will be U.S. Naval Institute Press (@USNIBooks) author and U.S. Naval Academy History Professor CDR. James "Chris" Rentfrow, USN. CDR. Rentfrow is the author of the new book HOME SQUADRON, which details the development of the U.S. Navy during the late 19th Century, just prior to the Spanish-American War. Listeners are encouraged to call in and offer both questions and opinions regarding this little-known but vital time in the history of the U.S. Navy.
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