One of the finest nineteenth-century first-person narratives of a sea voyage in existence, and a principle source for Sea of Glory, The Private Journal of William Reynolds brings to life the boisterous world traversed by the six vessels that comprised America’s first ocean-going voyage of discovery, the U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838–1842. With great eloquence and verve Midshipman William Reynolds describes the harrowing 87,000-mile, four-year circuit of the globe, and relates the story of how the abusive commander of the Ex. Ex., Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, gradually lost the support of his crew. With a seaman’s understanding and an artist’s appreciation for the wild beauty that surrounds him, the Journal is a tour de force combining meticulous observations with a young man’s sense of wonder and, on occasion, terror as he is tossed about by the tremendous seas.