Continuing in the vein of the Lincoln-prize winning Lincoln and His Admirals, acclaimed naval historian Craig L. Symonds presents an operational history of the Civil War navies - both Union and Confederate - in this concise volume. Illuminating how various aspects of the naval engagement influenced the trajectory of the war as a whole, The Civil War at Sea adds to our understanding of America's great national conflict. Both the North and the South developed and deployed hundreds of warships between 1861 and 1865. Because the Civil War coincided with a revolution in naval techonology, the development and character of warfare at sea from 1861-1865 was dramatic and unprecedented. Rather than a simple chronology of the war at sea, Symonds addresses the story of the naval war topically, from the dramatic transformation wrought by changes in technology to the establishment, management, and impact of blockade. He also offers critical assessments of principal figures in the naval war, from the opposing secretaries of the navy to leading operational commanders such as David Glasgow Farragut and Raphael Semmes. Symonds brings his expertise and knowledge of military and technological history to bear in this essential exploration of American naval engagement throughout the Civil War.
In A Short History of the Civil War at Sea, Spencer C. Tucker, eminent naval and military historian, provides a concise and lively overview of the blue water Civil War, or fighting on the seas and attacks directed from the sea. This volume covers the drama of significant naval battles, like the first clash of ironclads at Hampton Roads, the Union capture of New Orleans, fierce action in the Charleston Harbor, and the Battle of Mobile Bay. A Short History of the Civil War at Sea also discusses important themes, like the technological revolution in naval warfare; the Confederate use of torpedoes, submarines, and commerce raiders; and the Union's successful strategy of blockade. The struggle at sea might not have been as bloody as the fighting on land, but it was every bit as interesting and included a colorful cast of characters, like David G. Farragut, the North's highest ranking and most accomplished naval officer, and Confederate naval officer, commerce raider, and Rebel Seadog Raphael Semmes. And the advances of naval technology during the Civil War are fascinating - from the use of new Dahlgren guns to the design and redesign of the ironclads to the extensive use of mines an
Although previously undervalued for their strategic impact because they represented only a small percentage of total forces, the Union and Confederate navies were crucial to the outcome of the Civil War. In War on the Waters, James M. McPherson has crafted an enlightening, at times harrowing, and ultimately thrilling account of the war's naval campaigns and their military leaders. McPherson recounts how the Union navy's blockade of the Confederate coast, leaky as a sieve in the war's early months, became increasingly effective as it choked off vital imports and exports. Meanwhile, the Confederate navy, dwarfed by its giant adversary, demonstrated daring and military innovation. Commerce raiders sank Union ships and drove the American merchant marine from the high seas. Southern ironclads sent several Union warships to the bottom, naval mines sank many more, and the Confederates deployed the world's first submarine to sink an enemy vessel. But in the end, it was the Union navy that won some of the war's most important strategic victories--as an essential partner to the army on the ground at Fort Donelson, Vicksburg, Port Hudson, Mobile Bay, and Fort Fisher, and all by itself at Port Royal, Fort Henry, New Orleans, and Memphis.
Reaching the agonizing decision to join the secessionist Confederate States Navy, abolitionist Lieutenant Ker Claiborne works to destroy a ship in order to undermine Union finances and experiences difficult confrontations with fellow officers. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.
The Around-the-World Odyssey of the Confederate Raider Shenandoah
Author: Tom Chaffin
Publisher: Hill and Wang
Assembled from hundreds of original documents, including intimate shipboard journals kept byShenandoah officers, Sea of Gray is a masterful narrative of men at sea The sleek, 222-foot, black auxiliary steamer Sea King left London on October 8, 1864, ostensibly bound for Bombay. The subterfuge was ended off the shores of Madeira, where the ship was outfitted for war. The newly christened CSS Shenandoah then commenced the last, most quixotic sea story of the Civil War: the 58,000-mile, around-the-world cruise of the Confederacy's second most successful commerce raider. Before its voyage was over, thirty-two Union merchant and whaling ships and their cargoes would be destroyed. But it was only after ship and crew embarked on the last leg of their journey that the excursion took its most fearful turn. Four months after the Civil War was over, the Shenandoah's Captain Waddell finally learned he was, and had been, fighting without cause or state. In the eyes of the world, he had gone from being an enemy combatant to being a pirate—a hangable offense. Now fearing capture and mutiny, with supplies quickly dwindling, Waddell elected to camouflage the ship, circumnavigate the globe, and attempt to surrender on English soil. "A superb account of how the Confederate raider Shenandoah brought the American Civil War to the farthest reaches of the world." -- Nathaniel Philbrick, author of Mayflower and Sea of Glory
From thunderous broadsides traded between wooden sailing ships on Lake Erie, to the carrier battles of World War II, to the devastating high-tech action in the Persian Gulf, here is a gripping history of five key battles that defined the evolution of naval warfare--and the course of the American nation. Acclaimed military historian Craig Symonds offers spellbinding narratives of crucial engagements, showing how each battle reveals the transformation of technology and weaponry from one war to the next; how these in turn transformed naval combat; and how each event marked a milestone in American history. - Oliver Hazard Perry's heroic victory at Lake Erie, one of the last great battles of the Age of Sail, which secured the Northwestern frontier for the United States - The brutal Civil War duel between the ironclads Monitor and Virginia, which sounded the death knell for wooden-hulled warships and doomed the Confederacy's hope of besting the Union navy - Commodore Dewey's stunning triumph at Manila Bay in 1898, where the U.S. displayed its "new navy" of steel-hulled ships firing explosive shells and wrested an empire from a fading European power - The hairsbreadth American victory at Midway, where aircraft carriers launched planes against enemies 200 miles away--and where the tide of World War II turned in the space of a few furious minutes - Operation Praying Mantis in the Persian Gulf, where computers, ship-fired missiles, and "smart bombs" not only changed the nature of warfare at sea, but also marked a new era, and a new responsibility, for the United States. Symonds records these encounters in detail so vivid that readers can hear the wind in the rigging and feel the pounding of the guns. Yet he places every battle in a wide perspective, revealing their significance to America's development as it grew from a new Republic on the edge of a threatening frontier to a global superpower. Decision at Sea is a powerful and illuminating look at pivotal moments in the history of the Navy and of the United States. It is also a compelling study of the unchanging demands of leadership at sea, where commanders must make rapid decisions in the heat of battle with lives--and the fate of nations--hanging in the balance.
During the American Civil War, more than one hundred thousand men fought on ships at sea or on one of America’s great inland rivers. There were no large-scale fleet engagements, yet the navies, particularly the Union Navy, did much to define the character of the war and affect its length. The first hostile shots roared from rebel artillery at Charleston Harbor. Along the Mississippi River and other inland waterways across the South, Union gunboats were often the first to arrive in deadly enemy territory. In the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic seaboard, blockaders in blue floated within earshot of gray garrisons that guarded vital ports. And on the open seas, rebel raiders wreaked havoc on civilian shipping. In Faces of the Civil War Navies, renowned researcher and Civil War photograph collector Ronald S. Coddington focuses his considerable skills on the Union and Confederate navies. Using identifiable cartes de visite of common sailors on both sides of the war, many of them never before published, Coddington uncovers the personal histories of each individual who looked into the eye of the primitive camera. These unique narratives are drawn from military and pension records, letters, diaries, period newspapers, and other primary sources. In addition to presenting the personal stories of seventy-seven intrepid volunteers, Coddington also focuses on the momentous naval events that ushered in an era of ironclad ships and other technical innovations. The fourth volume in Coddington’s series on Civil War soldiers, this microhistory will appeal to anyone with an interest in the Civil War, social history, or photography. The narratives and photographs in Faces of the Civil War Navies shed new light on a lesser-known part of our American story. Taken collectively, these "snapshots" remind us that the history of war is not merely a chronicle of campaigns won and lost, it is the collective personal odysseys of thousands of individual life stories.
From the sinking of the British passenger liner Athenia on September 3, 1939, by a German U-boat (against orders) to the Japanese surrender on board the Missouri on September 2, 1945, War at Sea covers every major naveal battle of World War II. "A first-rate work and the best history of its kind yet written".--Vice Admiral William P. Mack, U.S.N. (Ret.). 30 photos.
A longtime military history professor at Virginia Military Institute and prolific author, Spencer Tucker examines the important roles played by the Union and Confederate navies during the Civil War. His book makes use of recent scholarship as well as official records and the memoirs of participants to provide a complete perspective for the general reader and enough detail to hold the interest of the specialist. Tucker opens with an overview of the U.S. Navy's history to 1861 and then closely examines the two navies at the beginning of the war, looking at the senior leadership, officers and personnel, organization, recruitment practices, training, facilities, and manufacturing resources. He discusses the acquisition of ships and the design and construction of new types, as well as ship armament and the development of naval ordnance, and North and South naval strategies. The book then takes a close look at the war itself, including the Union blockade of the Confederate Atlantic and Gulf coasts, riverine warfare in the Western theater, Confederate blockade running and commerce raiders, and the Union campaigns against New Orleans, Charleston, Vicksburg, and on the Red River. Tucker covers the major battles and technological innovations, and he evaluates the significance of the Union blockade and the demands it placed on Union resources. Fourteen maps and a glossary of terms help readers follow the text. Extensive endnotes provide additional material.
The American Civil War and the Challenge of British Naval Power
Author: Howard J. Fuller
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
This work will offer readers a unique 'international' look at the naval history of the Civil War and features extensive use of archival research conducted on both sides of the Atlantic, American and British.
The Union Navy played a vital role in winning the Civil War by blockading Confederate ports, cooperating with the Union Army in amphibious assaults, and controlling the Mississippi River and its tributaries. President Lincoln understood, however, that the Navy was not as important, militarily and politically, to the war effort as the Army, so he delegated authority to his Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, who divided the Navy into six squadrons and hand-picked their commanders. This book examines Welles selections and why he appointed them. While noting that the officers records, character, and abilities were of primary importance, Taaffe acknowledges that political connections, seniority, and availability were also factored into the selections. He demonstrates that Welles appointments improved markedly as the war continued and as he gained a better understanding of the Navy and its officer corps. Taaffe contends that Welles eventual success in picking effective squadron commanders contributed greatly to Union victory.
Author of Lincoln and His Admirals (winner of the Lincoln Prize), The Battle of Midway (Best Book of the Year, Military History Quarterly), and Operation Neptune, (winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature), Craig L. Symonds has established himself as one of the finest naval historians at work today. World War II at Sea represents his crowning achievement: a complete narrative of the naval war and all of its belligerents, on all of the world's oceans and seas, between 1939 and 1945. Opening with the 1930 London Conference, Symonds shows how any limitations on naval warfare would become irrelevant before the decade was up, as Europe erupted into conflict once more and its navies were brought to bear against each other. World War II at Sea offers a global perspective, focusing on the major engagements and personalities and revealing both their scale and their interconnection: the U-boat attack on Scapa Flow and the Battle of the Atlantic; the "miracle" evacuation from Dunkirk and the pitched battles for control of Norway fjords; Mussolini's Regia Marina-at the start of the war the fourth-largest navy in the world-and the dominance of the Kidö Butai and Japanese naval power in the Pacific; Pearl Harbor then Midway; the struggles of the Russian Navy and the scuttling of the French Fleet in Toulon in 1942; the landings in North Africa and then Normandy. Here as well are the notable naval leaders-FDR and Churchill, both self-proclaimed "Navy men," Karl Dönitz, François Darlan, Ernest King, Isoroku Yamamoto, Erich Raeder, Inigo Campioni, Louis Mountbatten, William Halsey, as well as the hundreds of thousands of seamen and officers of all nationalities whose live were imperiled and lost during the greatest naval conflicts in history, from small-scale assaults and amphibious operations to the largest armadas ever assembled. Many have argued that World War II was dominated by naval operations; few have shown and how and why this was the case. Symonds combines precision with story-telling verve, expertly illuminating not only the mechanics of large-scale warfare on (and below) the sea but offering wisdom into the nature of the war itself.
Excerpted memoirs included are: - Incidents and Anecdotes of the Cival War by Admiral Porter, including sections dealing with the political schism of the navy at the war's outbreak, as well as accounts of various naval campaigns around the gulf. - Recollections of a Rebel Reefer by James Morris Morgan , the memoir of a midshipman's coming of age in the Confederate navy including his part in the retreat further south of CSA President Jefferson Davis and his family. - Autobiography of George Dewey, Admiral of the Navy by Admiral George Dewey who, while a wet-behind-the-ears lieutenant, served under the legendary naval master and Lincoln's Admiral David Farragut. - Two years on the Alabama by Arthur Sinclair - CSS Shenandoah: The Memoirs of LT. Commanding James I. Waddell At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
This book tells of the Civil War campaigns of David Farragut. Thoroughly researched and compellingly written, this book examines Farragut's command of the most daring and important assignment of the Civil War: the mission to recapture the vital Southern port of New Orleans. "Damn the torpedoes... Full speed ahead." Admiral David Farragut's bold order at the Battle of Mobile Bay has served as a rallying cry for the United States Navy for a century. Described as "urbane" and "indomitable" by contemporaries, and lionized as an "American Viking" by the Northern press during the Civil War. Farragut was considered gallant, brilliant, and humane by friend and foe alike. Lincoln's Admiral also offers insights into the Battle of Mobile Bay, arguably Farragut's most famous campaign. An expansive and compelling chronicle of Farragut's career, Lincoln's Admiral traces the brilliant decisions and wartime strategy of one of history's greatest military leaders.
Having survived the bloody Battle of New Orleans and the loss of his ship, Captain Sam Bowater is given new orders - to take command of an ironclad warship being built in Memphis, Tennessee. Bowater and his men are taken up river by 'Mississippi' Mike Sullivan, one of the wild, undisciplined captains of the River Defence Squadron, only to find, on their arrival, that their ship is not even half-built and the enemy is closing in fast. Against his better judgment, Bowater joins forces with the Sullivan on board his river gunship. Outnumbered and outgunned, the Confederates once again fling themselves bravely at the overwhelming power of the Yankee invaders. The deadly fight along the Mississippi ends at last in the massive naval battle of Memphis, as the Confederates attempt to hold back the Northern advance. This heart-pounding novel continues the story of the Civil War at sea begun in Glory in the Name.
Then call us Rebels if you will we glory in the name, for bending under unjust laws and swearing faith to an unjust cause, we count as greater shame. -- Richmond Daily Dispatch, May 12, 1862 April 12, 1861. With one jerk of a lanyard, one shell arching into the sky, years of tension explode into civil war. And for those men who do not know in which direction their loyalty calls them, it is a time for decisions. Such a one is Lieutenant Samuel Bowater, an officer of the U.S. Navy and a native of Charleston, South Carolina. Hard-pressed to abandon the oath he swore to the United States, but unable to fight against his home state, Bowater accepts a commission in the nascent Confederate Navy, where captains who once strode the quarterdecks of the world's most powerful ships are now assuming command of paddle wheelers and towboats. Taking charge of the armed tugboat Cape Fear, and then the ironclad Yazoo River, Bowater and his men, against overwhelming odds, engage in the waterborne fight for Southern independence.