Stephen Decatur ranks as one of the greatest of America’s early naval commanders. His only equal in bravery and fighting prowess was John Paul Jones. He was the kind of man who could not sit by the sidelines and watch a fight play out; he had to be in the thick of the action, issuing commands, and inhaling the sulphurous smoke of battle. Yet he was no rash hothead; his decisions, while bold and daring, were always based on a sound consideration of military realities.Continue reading
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