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Robert Walter Manuscript on Naval Tactics, 1770 (approximate): Finding Aid

Published in May 2020

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
    https://www.usna.edu/Library/sca/index.php
  • Call number: MS 160
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Robert Walter Manuscript on Naval Tactics
  • Dates: 1770 (approximate)
  • Size: 0.19 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 1 volume of 144 leaves
  • Creator: Walter, Robert
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Robert Walter was an officer in the Royal Navy who served during multiple conflicts, including the Seven Years War. The Robert Walter Manuscript on Naval Tactics was written in approximately 1770 by Royal Navy Lieutenant Robert Walter. The manuscript consists of various tactical case studies for naval engagements, while also offering some limited details of Walter's Royal Navy career.

Biography of Robert Walter

Robert Walter was an officer in the Royal Navy who served during multiple conflicts, including the Seven Years War. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant on November 4, 1755, and Commander on May 10, 1781. By Walter's own account, he served on the "Coast of Guinea and the West Indies in the Rippon with Lord Howe in the Year 1746, and in the Prince Henry with Captain Jasper in 1749." In 1757, he was serving aboard H.M.S. Somerset, and by 1759, was serving as Second Lieutenant aboard H.M.S. Hercules. Walter's name last appeared in the Sea Officers' List of January 1785.

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Description of Contents

The Robert Walter Manuscript on Naval Tactics, comprising 0.19 linear feet of documentation in a single volume of 144 leaves, was written in approximately 1770 by Royal Navy Lieutenant Robert Walter. The manuscript consists of various tactical case studies for naval engagements, while also offering some limited details of Walter's Royal Navy career.

The manuscript is divided into three untitled parts, each of which is further subdivided into cases, providing examples of specific tactical situations. The individual cases, which are illustrated with diagrams, cover attacks in various circumstances, such as attacking vessels of equal force, procedures for windward ships attacking leeward ships, and various methods of forming the line of battle. The volume's preface includes a description of an engagement between H.M.S. Hercules and the French Navy's Souverain in 1759.

Tipped into the front of the volume are two letters, dating from 1931, regarding the Robert Walter and the circumstances of the manuscript's authorship.

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Arrangement

The Robert Walter Manuscript on Naval Tactics comprises a single volume.

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Access and Use

Access

Patron use restricted to microfilm.

Copyright and Permission

The Robert Walter Manuscript on Naval Tactics is the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Transfer from the U.S. Naval Lyceum. Accessioned on October 19, 1923 after being found in loft. Accession No. 61247.

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Related Materials

Location of Copies or Alternate Formats

This collection also available on microfilm.

Related Archival Material

Additional early manuscript treatises on naval tactics in this repository include A Concise System of Naval Tactics by J. G. Casy, 1828, MS 44.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Robert Walter Manuscript on Naval Tactics, MS 160

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in May 2020.

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Subject Headings

These materials have been indexed in the Naval Academy Library online catalog using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.

Name and Subject Terms

  • Hercules (Ship-of-the-line)
  • Naval art and science -- Early works to 1800
  • Naval tactics -- Early works to 1800
  • Souverain (Ship-of-the-line)
  • Walter, Robert

Genre Terms

  • Manuscripts
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Robert Walter Manuscript on Naval Tactics, 1770 (approximate)

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