Painting by James Hope

Stop by the shipyards at Bath, Maine, home of Bath Iron Works, and the sight is impressive: Massive docks and cranes loom over the Kennebec River, while hulls of the U.S. Navy’s finest new destroyers rise out of the water, like so many shrouded ghost ships. For over a century, the shipyard has been producing ships for the Navy. What many do not know is that its founder, Thomas W. Hyde, of Bath, Maine, was not in any way a Navy man. In fact, he was an Army officer in the Civil War who happened to have one of the worst commanding officers ever.

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