Fort Enterprize


After a brief prologue describing the tragic fate of a captive American sailor in Tripoli, the story moves ahead almost half a century to the summer of 1850.

Harrison Oswald, the son of a wealthy Virginia plantation owner, arrives in Loganville, Kentucky where he meets his dying great uncle, Presley Neville O’Bannon. Only vaguely aware of his uncle’s exploits, Harrison is also puzzled by Presley’s aversion to slavery and conflicted by his relationship with Miss Lily, Presley’s black housekeeper who is, in fact, his uncle’s common law wife.

Uncle Presley is a shell of the valiant young Marine officer he was years earlier, but after Harrison confesses that he knows little about the “enterprize,” Presley’s story is told.

It is 1803 and America is at war with Tripoli, a North African city-state on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea ruled by the brutal and cunning regent, Bashaw Yusuf Karamanli with the aid of his equally nefarious son-in-law, Grand Admiral Murad Reis. For years, the two have been running little more than a protection racket, seizing the ships and crews of nations that fail to pay Yusuf annual tribute. America is still a small country thousands of miles away, so her lightly manned and armed merchant ships sailing the Mediterranean are particularly attractive targets.

In Washington, President Thomas Jefferson is determined to stop Tripoli’s depredations. Rather than confront Tripoli, his predecessors simply paid the tribute, something Jefferson believes is a stain on the America’s honor.

Military History Now Q&A w/ Kevin Foley – Click HERE

“…the story is interesting and imaginative…this effort makes for an often-exciting tale of heroism and courage…” Naval Historical Foundation

Full Historical Novel Society Review  – Click HERE 

“…Foley masterfully invokes the horrific conditions of cave prisons and the dehumanizing toil of enslaved captive passengers and seamen along the early – 19th century Barbary Coast of North Africa…” – Publishers Weekly

 Full Publisher’s Weekly Review – Click HERE

Publisher's Weekly - Fort Enterprize