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Familial Impact

Concerning a Naval Family [Family of President of the Naval War College William S. Sims]

Newspaper story on the Sims family, 1917

The Navy family means more than one thing. It means the men and women with whom a sailor fights and serves. It means the men and women, children, fathers and mothers, left at home when a sailor goes on deployment. And at home, for many generations, it meant the women who banded together to raise families and support loved ones wherever they traveled as members of the U.S. Navy.

A few documents from the Naval Historical Collection have been chosen to highlight Navy families. They help tell the story of a Navy life from the perspective of the family--a sister, a daughter, a mother.

Jonas Corey wrote to his sister Sarah about his journey aboard a Union ship during the longest days of the Civil War. Henry Trevor Cook wrote to his mother about his Civil War experiences. Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan, founder of the Naval War College and famed naval strategist and historian took the time to continue a long correspondence with his daughters on topics ranging from religion, to marriage, to his naval career and professional controversies. A memoir written by Rear Admiral Richard Pratt, (Ret.) and his wife, Ann, in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary for their children shed light on their married life and strengthened memories for the whole family. Ann Sims Morison's "Memories of a Child's Life" provided readers with the perspective of being the child of a Navy admiral and President of the Naval War College in the immediate aftermath of WWI. 

These documents add immeasurably to our knowledge of the Navy and the men and women who built it and keep it strong.