In the summer of 1814 a squadron of Royal Navy ships attacked the tiny Connecticut seaport of Stonington, and declared its intention of destroying the town. Over the next four days the British barraged the nearly defenceless civilian population with some fifty tons of explosives, before mysteriously upping anchor and sailing away. Drawing on contemporary news accounts, secret Royal Navy correspondence and other primary sources, de Kay investigates events leading up to the attack and recounts the exciting details of the battle.
James Tertius de Kay has written a number of well received histories of the U.S. Navy. The New York Times called his Chronicles of the Frigate 'Macedonian' (1995) "history that reads like a historical novel," and praised the "gripping suspense and excitement" of his Monitor (1997). His biography of Commodore Stephen Decatur, A Rage for Glory (2004) was described by the Washington Post as "concise, fast-moving, well researched," and it was singled out as one of a dozen Navy Classics by Naval History magazine. Publishers Weekly described de Kay's most recent book, Roosevelt's Navy (2012) as an "expertly crafted work of intense focus and broad appeal."