Confederate Privateer books

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Rusk County Avengers

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I'm curious, does anyone know of any good, well researched and written, books focused on Confederate Privateers and their ships?

With ships such as the Jefferson Davis, (with an officer who was a veteran of the Republic of Texas Navy), incidents like with the S.J.Waring I find it hard to believe there wouldn't be at least one scholarly study on these ships.
 
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Otis J White

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I'm curious, does anyone know of any good, well researched and written, books focused on Confederate Privateers and their ships?

With ships such as the Jefferson Davis, (with an officer who was a veteran of the Republic of Texas Navy), incidents like with the S.J.Waring I find it hard to believe there wouldn't be at least one scholarly study on these ships.

Just saw this post ... sorry to be a bit late ... I recommend "Cornubia: The Life and Times of a Hayle Steamship" ... by Peter Joseph ... Peter did an excellent job of researching the ships history as well as the history of the Hayle shipyards and their contributions to the Confederate effort. Hi research trail is on this forum as he did much of his fact checking here. I was even able to order a beautiful copy of the painting by the Hayle Steamship company from the museum he cites and it hangs in the main building of our development.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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@Rusk County Avengers, who was that officer, please?
W. Ross Postell, Jefferson Davis's first officer. Supposedly a former Lieutenant from the Texas Navy, also has a description of the man and his character.

The source is a January 2015 "America's Civil War" article, quoted from the book "The Confederate Privateers"
 

AndyHall

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Brig Wharton Signals the Schooner San Bernard, Robert Moak, 1976.jpg

"Brig Wharton Signals the Schooner San Bernard" by Robert Moak, 1976

Thanks very much. William Ross Postell served as Lieutenant on board the Texas Navy schooners SAN BERNARD (November 1839-September 1840) and SAN JACINTO (May to September 1840). In May 1840 he was listed as "Lieutenant Commanding" SAN JACINTO.

There was also a Joseph N. Postell who served as a Midshipman in October 1841 aboard the brig WHARTON, and April 1842 aboard the sloop-of-war AUSTIN, the squadron flagship.

ETA: William Ross Postell was also deeply involved Charles Lamar in trying to re-establish the transatlantic slave trade in the late 1850s. Ugh.
 

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Rusk County Avengers

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View attachment 320053
"Brig Wharton Signals the Schooner San Bernard" by Robert Moak, 1976

Thanks very much. William Ross Postell served as Lieutenant on board the Texas Navy schooners SAN BERNARD (November 1839-September 1840) and SAN JACINTO (May to September 1840). In May 1840 he was listed as "Lieutenant Commanding" SAN JACINTO.

There was also a Joseph N. Postell who served as a Midshipman in October 1841 aboard the brig WHARTON, and April 1842 aboard the sloop-of-war AUSTIN, the squadron flagship.

ETA: William Ross Postell was also deeply involved Charles Lamar in trying to re-establish the transatlantic slave trade in the late 1850s. Ugh.
Well thanks for the additional info, and I've never seen that painting. I love it! Even the ships seem a little "off" I suppose the word is.

San Jacinto is one ship I've always been on the lookout for info on, her being a Baltimore Clipper, and being wrecked has always interested me. Even if her history isn't as glamorous as other Texas Navy vessels, such as San Antonio and the Austin.

On another note, I suppose its ironic Postell would be exec of Jefferson Davis, her being a former slaver and all. It was disgusting and low, but profitable back then.
 

AndyHall

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Moak’s paintings are a bit “off,“ but they make up for that in their vibrance. He did a whole series of Texas Navy canvases, that are in the somewhat of a limbo now as to reproduction rights. Long story.
 

AndyHall

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I was curious as to how Postell acquired a relatively senior rank in the Texas Navy. It turns out that he was warranted Midshipman in the U.S. Navy on 31 December 1831, became Passed Midshipman on 15 June 1837, and resigned his warrant on 14 June 1839. He was attached to USS CONSTELLATION in January 1833, when she was in the Mediterranean, and was ordered to USS GRAMPUS in March 1836. In 1837 he was aboard USS JAVA, when she was a receiving ship at Norfolk. There's more, I'm sure, but that's a short sampling.
 
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Rusk County Avengers

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I was curious as to how Postell acquired a relatively senior rank in the Texas Navy. It turns out that he was warranted Midshipman in the U.S. Navy on 31 December 1831, became Passed Midshipman on 15 June 1837, and resigned his warrant on 14 June 1839. He was attached to USS CONSTELLATION in January 1833, when she was in the Mediterranean, and was ordered to USS GRAMPUS in March 1836. In 1837 he was aboard USS JAVA, when she was a receiving ship at Norfolk. There's more, I'm sure, but that's a short sampling.
I've been curious about that myself, but I can only draw a blank.

One possible clue would be a CW description of him as "Tendency to be volatile in temper and language" and "with all the characteristics of a lover of adventure and the dash of a hero."

That along with his willingness to engage in the lucrative, if dangerous to one's career slave trade between the Republic of Texas era and CW era suggests a bold individual. Perhaps that boldness served him better in the Texas Navy due to the possibility of promotion being a bit easier than in the USN. Just a thought.

Now I wonder what he did during the Mexican War...
 

AndyHall

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Speculating, but it’s reasonable to suspect that by 1838/39, as a a Passed Midshipman he was more than ready for an appointment as a Lieutenant, but didn’t see much prospect of that happening. That would be especially true if he were still aboard JAVA, the receiving ship at Norfolk, that would absolutely look like a dead-end career-wise.

Tom Wells (who coincidentally wrote the book about WANDERER in which I found out about Postell’s slaving activities) suggested that was the reason that Edwin Moore resigned his commission and cast his lot with the Texian, to become senior officer and Commodore. In his case, Wells points out, his contemporaries who remained in the U.S. Navy were only finally advancing to the rank of Captain at the beginning of the Civil War in 1861. Moore managed to jump ahead by 20 years, but the price he paid for that was to cut his ties with the U.S. Navy permanently.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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The Texas Navy did offer chance for promotion and activity, till Sam Houston torpedoed it that is.

It was possible for an aggressive officer to advance in rank, unlike the US Navy at that time. If I remember right there was something about USN policy regarding former officer who went to Texas having to resume their former, lower rank if they wanted to return to the USN. But I may be misremembering.
 
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Book Southern History of the War by Edward Pollard has a tidbit of the capture of the CSS Florida.
Sea of Gray and Last Flag Down cover the CSS Shenandoah (both give differing views of her cruise and surrender
Gunsmoke over the Atlantic J.D. Coombe) covers first Naval Actions of the Civil War
Iron Dawn (the Monitor & the Merrimack) by Richard Snow,
Another (Can't remember the title) something about the only Admiral in the CSA Navy about Admiral Buchannan
 
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