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Tattnall, Josiah

TATTNALL, JOSIAH (1795-1871), American naval officer, was born near Savannah, and was educated in England. He entered the United States navy in 1812, and was actively employed till the beginning of the Civil War. He may be said to have gained a world-wide reputation by his use of the phrase " blood is thicker than water " to justify his intervention on behalf of the British squadron engaged in the operations against the Peiho Forts. Tattnall's flagship the Toeywan had grounded shortly before, and had been helped off by the British squadron. He was in the Peiho river when the unsuccessful attack of the 25th of June 1859 was made. Tattnall not only brought the Toeywan under fire, but lent the aid of his boats to land detachments to turn the Chinese defences. When the Civil War began he took the side of the Confederacy. He was put in command of its naval forces when Franklin Buchanan resigned after he was wounded in the action with the Federal squadron in Hampton Roads. The Confederate States were never able to form a sea-going squadron, and Tattnall had no chance to do more than make a struggle with insufficient resources on its rivers. He died on the 14th of June 1871.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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