Knowledge of the Naval War

Do you consider yourself relatively familiar with...


  • Total voters
    138

Mark F. Jenkins

Colonel
Member of the Year
Joined
Mar 31, 2012
Messages
12,948
Location
Central Ohio
SEE HERE FOR A LIST OF ONLINE RESOURCES: Naval War Online Resources

Also, see "Naval and Maritime" link at http://civilwartalk.com/threads/index-of-civil-war-information-available-on-the-internet-comprehensive-web-index-of-10-000-pages.96231/

SEE HERE FOR A (MOSTLY) COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY: Bibliography

UNDERWATER ARCHAEOLOGICAL REGULATIONS BY STATE: http://civilwartalk.com/threads/underwater-archaeology-regs-by-state.105785/

TERRY FOENANDER'S CONFEDERATE SAILORS AND MARINES DATABASE:
http://civilwartalk.com/threads/cs-sailors-and-marines-database.120452/

INFORMATION ON NAVAL AND MILITARY SITES IN NORTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA: http://civilwartalk.com/threads/cs-sailors-and-marines-database.120452/#post-1256064

National Archives links to Confederate Navy books: http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/national-archives-links-to-confederate-navy-books.125347/#post-1349607


The naval side of Civil War gets much less attention than the actions on land. There are a variety of reasons for this; for one thing, since the manpower involved was so much lower, the chances of having an ancestor in the Union Navy are much smaller than having one in the Army; and the Confederate Navy was smaller still; so those becoming interested in the war via genealogy are heavily weighted toward the Army side.

Another reason is because many of the major battlefields have historical markers, and while the terrain and vegetation may have changed considerably over 150 years, there's still a sense of connection, of "it-happened-here," that is largely impossible for the naval actions.

But most people know a little about the naval war. I'm curious to see how deep it goes. Of course, those frequenting this website are much more likely to be more aware of the naval side of the war (or, for that matter, ANY side of the war) than the average person, but still...
 
Last edited:

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Dugger

Banned
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Messages
2,372
Location
Southern Ohio
Neat post Mark. I cast my votes. Gee you mean to tell me there was fighting on the water in the Civil War? Why? Cant have a plantation on the ocean....makes no sense.:D
 

BillO

Captain
Joined
Feb 2, 2010
Messages
6,405
Location
Quinton, VA.
Besides the points Mark Jenkins raises in his post above I'd like to add that the naval war was just so lopsided that there's no suspense. No feeling of it could have gone the other way if so and so had or hadn't done whatever.
 

Robtweb1

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Retired Moderator
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Joined
Apr 20, 2011
Messages
3,010
Location
Grand Junction, TN
I am completely ignorant of naval operations, with the exception of the Red River Campaign.
 

Dugger

Banned
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Messages
2,372
Location
Southern Ohio
I love the crazy transitional things that went on in our Navy (and the Confederate) in that war. Crazy....transitional....takes an expert to keep up with it.
 

Greg Taylor

Sergeant Major
Joined
Apr 29, 2011
Messages
2,038
Location
Los Angeles
I must admit that I am woefully ignorant about ACW naval activities. I am looking at my copy of The Photographic History of the Civil War vol.III part 2, Blue and Grey Press ed. entitled The Navies. It is a good place to get an overview of the naval war. Has some great photos too. This section covers over 200 pages and at least as many photographs. This series was originally published in 1911 to commemorate the 50th. anniversary of the war.
http://www.amazon.com/Photographic-History-Civil-War-artillery/dp/1555212034/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1353731135&sr=1-2&keywords=photographic history of the civil war
 

NFB22

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Messages
1,669
Location
Louisville, KY
I must admit that I am woefully ignorant about ACW naval activities.
If you're looking for an overview of the naval war check out War on the Waters by James McPherson its not too short yet not too long and is filled with info for someone looking for an introduction into this area of the war. If you cant get your hands on that one try A Short History of the Civil War at Sea by S.C. Tucker. If you cant get your hands on either but you're interested in reading more into the subject I'd suggest shooting a message to Mark, he'll certainly have some suggestions. He hasnt failed me once.
 

Mark F. Jenkins

Colonel
Member of the Year
Joined
Mar 31, 2012
Messages
12,948
Location
Central Ohio
Two of the best right there, NFB! :thumbsup:

Greg, the "Photographic History" books are great for pictures, but I've found many errors in the captions... so take them with a large hunk of salt.
 

diane

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Messages
20,474
Location
State of Jefferson
I'm mildly familiar with the first five options but pretty foggy overall! I sometimes have argued the war was won on the water, and the Union/Confederate dueling overseas is a fascinating web of intrigue. It's a very, very vital yet very, very unstudied aspect of the war. It's the great underpinning of the land war.
 

Greg Taylor

Sergeant Major
Joined
Apr 29, 2011
Messages
2,038
Location
Los Angeles
Two of the best right there, NFB! :thumbsup:

Greg, the "Photographic History" books are great for pictures, but I've found many errors in the captions... so take them with a large hunk of salt.
I hear you about the captions, and the text is quite hokey with a turn-of-the-century romantic view of the war where there are no villians, no right or wrong, only noble heroes. Still the text makes for interesting reading if one understands the context of the time it was written. Despite these drawbacks it is packed with quite a bit of good information.
 

Mark F. Jenkins

Colonel
Member of the Year
Joined
Mar 31, 2012
Messages
12,948
Location
Central Ohio
Speaking of further reading Mark, what would you recommend for a more detailed description of riverine operations in the Western theater?
There have been a number of treatments of the Western riverine operations... there are some in Battles and Leaders (the full version, not the abridged version), including two sections by Henry Walke that also formed the basis of much of his 1877 book, Naval Scenes and Reminiscences (F.R. Reed, 1877).

One notable early work on the topic was Alfred Thayer Mahan's The Gulf and Inland Waters (Scribners, 1883; part of the "Campaigns of the Civil War" series). Besides being a good, solid history, the book was also what brought Mahan into the limelight and led to his involvement with the Naval War College.

20th Century works of note include H. Allen Gosnells' Guns on the Western Waters (Louisiana State University, 1949), Fletcher Pratt's Civil War on Western Waters (Henry Holt, 1956), John D. Milligan's Gunboats Down the Mississippi (Naval Institute Press, 1965), and James Merrill's Battle Flags South (Farleugh Dickinson, 1970). More recent outings have included Jack D. Coombe's Thunder Along the Mississippi (Sarpedon, 1996), Gary D. Joiner's Mr. Lincoln's Brown Water Navy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007), Peter Ericson's Running the Batteries (Lulu, 2007), and Benton Rain Patterson's The Mississippi River Campaign 1861-1863 (McFarland, 2010).

My favorites remain Mahan, Pratt, and Merrill Milligan. [Sorry, typed the wrong name. But Merrill's book is great, too; it's a close match between the two. -MFJ] Of the more recent treatments, I found much to like about Ericson.

One common fault of nearly all of the above is that they generally end with the fall of Vicksburg, though most include the Red River Campaign as a later or final chapter. I've given thought to writing a book tentatively titled "Forgotten Rivers: Mississippi Riverine Actions After Vicksburg" or something of that nature, but Myron J. Smith, Jr.'s books on the tinclads, timberclads, and Leroy Fitch have done a great job of covering that gap in the literature.
 

gary

Captain
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
6,461
I've had a fascination with the monitor since childhood. However, if there's anything I researched extensively, it's the struggle for Charleston. I'm waiting to see if North and South Magazine will publish my article on it.
 

NFB22

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Messages
1,669
Location
Louisville, KY
There have been a number of treatments of the Western riverine operations... there are some in Battles and Leaders (the full version, not the abridged version), including two sections by Henry Walke that also formed the basis of much of his 1877 book, Naval Scenes and Reminiscences (F.R. Reed, 1877).

One notable early work on the topic was Alfred Thayer Mahan's The Gulf and Inland Waters (Scribners, 1883; part of the "Campaigns of the Civil War" series). Besides being a good, solid history, the book was also what brought Mahan into the limelight and led to his involvement with the Naval War College.

20th Century works of note include H. Allen Gosnells' Guns on the Western Waters (Louisiana State University, 1949), Fletcher Pratt's Civil War on Western Waters (Henry Holt, 1956), John D. Milligan's Gunboats Down the Mississippi (Naval Institute Press, 1965), and James Merrill's Battle Flags South (Farleugh Dickinson, 1970). More recent outings have included Jack D. Coombe's Thunder Along the Mississippi (Sarpedon, 1996), Gary D. Joiner's Mr. Lincoln's Brown Water Navy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007), Peter Ericson's Running the Batteries (Lulu, 2007), and Benton Rain Patterson's The Mississippi River Campaign 1861-1863 (McFarland, 2010).

My favorites remain Mahan, Pratt, and Merrill. Of the more recent treatments, I found much to like about Ericson.

One common fault of nearly all of the above is that they generally end with the fall of Vicksburg, though most include the Red River Campaign as a later or final chapter. I've given thought to writing a book tentatively titled "Forgotten Rivers: Mississippi Riverine Actions After Vicksburg" or something of that nature, but Myron J. Smith, Jr.'s books on the tinclads, timberclads, and Leroy Fitch have done a great job of covering that gap in the literature.
Thanks Mark, great list. I'll look into some of these after I finish up with my current book. Also, that really stinks that the poll was only limited to 10 questions. I'd be curious to see the results for both the Marine question and just who is completely clueless on the naval war as a whole.
 

NedBaldwin

Major
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Messages
7,631
Location
California
Besides the points Mark Jenkins raises in his post above I'd like to add that the naval war was just so lopsided that there's no suspense. No feeling of it could have gone the other way if so and so had or hadn't done whatever.
Part of why I enjoy learning about the naval war in Texas and Louisiana is that it didn't always seem so lopsided. Consider that area of operations in January-february 1863 -- Confederates win battle of Galveston Bay, CSA Alabama sinks the USS Hatteras off the Texas coast, US boats sink CSS Cotton but it is a tough fight, CSS Bell and Ben chase and capture USS Velocity and USS morning light, USS Queen of the West gets captured by confederates, CSA boats defeat USS Indianola.
 

NFB22

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Messages
1,669
Location
Louisville, KY
Part of why I enjoy learning about the naval war in Texas and Louisiana is that it didn't always seem so lopsided. Consider that area of operations in January-february 1863 -- Confederates win battle of Galveston Bay, CSA Alabama sinks the USS Hatteras off the Texas coast, US boats sink CSS Cotton but it is a tough fight, CSS Bell and Ben chase and capture USS Velocity and USS morning light, USS Queen of the West gets captured by confederates, CSA boats defeat USS Indianola.
USS Massachusetts gets turned away in a duel with a battery on Ship Island manned by CS Marines and sailors.
 

Mark F. Jenkins

Colonel
Member of the Year
Joined
Mar 31, 2012
Messages
12,948
Location
Central Ohio
Part of why I enjoy learning about the naval war in Texas and Louisiana is that it didn't always seem so lopsided. Consider that area of operations in January-february 1863 -- Confederates win battle of Galveston Bay, CSA Alabama sinks the USS Hatteras off the Texas coast, US boats sink CSS Cotton but it is a tough fight, CSS Bell and Ben chase and capture USS Velocity and USS morning light, USS Queen of the West gets captured by confederates, CSA boats defeat USS Indianola.
The amazing thing to me is that most of this happened in Farragut's area of operations, yet the stink of those problems didn't stick to him for some reason... the Teflon Admiral. If it had been Du Pont, they would have fired him.
 


Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top