Knowledge of the Naval War

Do you consider yourself relatively familiar with...


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Mark F. Jenkins

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Ah, okay...Sorry, I'm not well versed in the proper naval terminology.

Your poll is fascinating, by the way. It might be interesting to do a similar poll on leading naval figures of the war (Farragut, Semmes, etc.).
I had originally intended to have more choices (for instance, the US and CS Marine Corps), but the forum software limits the number of options, durnit. Your suggestion sounds interesting; what would it be (most effective naval officer, most interesting naval officer, etc.)?
 

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USS ALASKA

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A (Mostly) Complete Civil War Naval Bibliography (V of VI)
Reed, Rowena. Combined Operations in the Civil War. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1978. 468 pp. :thumbsup:
Sir, was reading a web article where this book was used as a source. Looking it up on Amazon, the price used was great but the reviews were rather...polar. You gave it a thumbs up. Would you care to comment please? Reason I ask is that the bad reviews are not the usual, one line, "I hated it / it s**ked / I can't read it on kindle / it smelled funny" type of lambasting.

Thanks for the help,
USS ALASKA
 

Mark F. Jenkins

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Soitainly!

Reed's book deserves a certain amount of credit just for handling the topic to begin with, which to my knowledge had never been approached before from that angle. A lot of thought and scholarship went into it, and while it would be an overstatement to call it 'fundamental' to understanding, it is cited by a lot of works since then. It's well-written and interesting. She had what appears to some to be a too pro-McClellan stance, and some of her conclusions must be taken with that in mind, but she actually makes a decent case for him (albeit one that I would merely call 'well-argued' rather than 'convincing').

(It's been some years since I've read it, so this is from what I remember offhand.)
 

USS ALASKA

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Lt Col Jenkins sir, another book review if you please. (Or anyone else who might have the info...)

In the thread http://civilwartalk.com/threads/laird-rams-and-the-css-stonewall.113327/, you linked this paper
https://www.usnwc.edu/getattachment...erate-Naval-Buildup--Could-More-Have-Bee.aspx . One of the sources in the notes of this paper was Richard Lester, Confederate Finance and Purchasing in Great Britain (Charlottesville: Univ. of Virginia Press, 1975) which is also on your Bibliography . Found some on Amazon. Neither Amazon nor your bibliography have any comments about the book. Was thinking of getting it. Can you provide any comment on it's value please?

Thanks for the help,
USS ALASKA
 

Carronade

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Soitainly!

Reed's book deserves a certain amount of credit just for handling the topic to begin with, which to my knowledge had never been approached before from that angle. A lot of thought and scholarship went into it, and while it would be an overstatement to call it 'fundamental' to understanding, it is cited by a lot of works since then. It's well-written and interesting. She had what appears to some to be a too pro-McClellan stance, and some of her conclusions must be taken with that in mind, but she actually makes a decent case for him (albeit one that I would merely call 'well-argued' rather than 'convincing').

(It's been some years since I've read it, so this is from what I remember offhand.)
That was my feeling also. One should always be cautious of authors who use phrases like "Had McClellan's brilliant strategy been fully implemented, it would have ended the Civil War in 1862..."
 

Mark F. Jenkins

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Lt Col Jenkins sir, another book review if you please. (Or anyone else who might have the info...)

In the thread http://civilwartalk.com/threads/laird-rams-and-the-css-stonewall.113327/, you linked this paper
https://www.usnwc.edu/getattachment...erate-Naval-Buildup--Could-More-Have-Bee.aspx . One of the sources in the notes of this paper was Richard Lester, Confederate Finance and Purchasing in Great Britain (Charlottesville: Univ. of Virginia Press, 1975) which is also on your Bibliography . Found some on Amazon. Neither Amazon nor your bibliography have any comments about the book. Was thinking of getting it. Can you provide any comment on it's value please?

Thanks for the help,
USS ALASKA

Sorry! That's one of 'em I haven't gotten to yet. So far, I've only managed to read about 40-45% of the books I listed. :redface:
 

USS ALASKA

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You are far ahead of me percentage wise sir...Oh well, I'll just order it...:smile:

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

Mark F. Jenkins

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You are far ahead of me percentage wise sir...Oh well, I'll just order it...:smile:

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
Before I started compiling the bibliography, I'd guesstimated that I had a majority of the available works--- turned out I didn't even have half of them! Although a number of them are ones I don't plan on acquiring for one reason or another (for instance, I can do without most of the ones written for a juvenile readership, though I do have a few of those that I encountered as a juvenile myself, simply for sentiment's sake).
 

USS ALASKA

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I keep buying books I have no time to get to under the guise of "This is a good deal and I need to get it now! I'll read it later...". Hopefully, when it finally starts, my retirement will last long enough for me to wade through all of them. My fear is that the second I get through all of them I'll keel over...guess that is a good reason to keep buying in retirement! :smile:

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 

AndyHall

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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.

Mauritz_de_Haas_-_Farragut%27s_Fleet_passing_the_Forts_below_New_Orleans.jpg


I'm only five years late responding to this, but could that be because very early on in his tenure, Farragut took New Orleans after a spectacular night engagement at Forts Jackson and St. Phillip? Did that give him a narrative of success that helped insulate him from getting blamed for other loses, especially those that happened outside his direct oversight?
 

Mark F. Jenkins

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I'm only five years late responding to this, but could that be because very early on in his tenure, Farragut took New Orleans after a spectacular night engagement at Forts Jackson and St. Phillip? Did that give him a narrative of success that helped insulate him from getting blamed for other loses, especially those that happened outside his direct oversight?
Dunno. Du Pont was certainly celebrated for Port Royal, though the fall of New Orleans was probably more dramatic...
 

USS ALASKA

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... the poll was only limited to 10 questions.
Indeed sir - in fact I'd like to see a second 'old hands' poll - 'How Do You Feel NOW?!?'

I answered the poll's questions one way when I first joined this board. My answers - after reading the posts on this topic - and buying books mentioned here, and studying, ...will be vastly different now...I don't know poop about the Naval War..."F" - I need a degree in this area of study to keep up here!

USS ALASKA
 
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wausaubob

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The naval war did not involve the unsanitary and deadly army camps.
It did not involve incompetent politicians who proved that experience and aptitude do make a difference.
It did not involve grim and costly battles in which people died by the thousands.
Reporters were not along for most of the battles. The US Navy in particular kept most of its operations secret, until they occurred.
The US Navy won some very important engagements starting in July 1864. That sort of ruined the narrative that the self pitying north could never win.
 

USS ALASKA

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@AndyHall or @Mark F. Jenkins or anyone else who can answer...

Found a reference to this book and looked it up on Amazon...it isn't on the page 5 list...

'The Confederate Quartermaster in the Trans-Mississippi: The Blockade Runner's Texas Connection' by James L. Nichols

51PIG8wt+hL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg



This book recounts the history and activities of the Denbigh, one of the Civil War's most successful blockade runners. A new introduction by J. Barto Arnold III (which includes a lengthy appendix) reviews recent archival and archaeological research and highlights the blockade runner's place in the Confederacy's complex and ultimately insoluble problem of obtaining manufactured items from abroad.


https://www.amazon.com/dp/097527385X/?tag=civilwartalkc-20

Has anyone read it and care to make a comment please?

Thanks for the help!
USS ALASKA


 

AndyHall

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This is one of a half dozen or more books published or re-issued as part of the Denbigh Project. Barto Arnold, a longtime friend and colleague of mine, wanted to get as much in print as possible, both original works specific to Denbigh, and as a more general background to the blockade and logistical supply in the Confederacy. This is one of the latter.

Nichols' book is an old one, and even with some updating by Barto it may be somewhat dated by newer scholarship. But I think it was the the first substantial work to look at a neglected area (military logistics) in a neglected theater (the Trans-Mississippi). I have the book but have not used it extensively, as this edition was published long after my time with the Denbigh Project ended, but I still think it's useful as a reference and for setting the overall framework on the topic.
 

Story

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I don't see where this was previously noted, so - alibi fire from January 2018

https://www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/nr18-24

Log entries handwritten by U.S. Navy seamen nearly 140 years ago remain relevant even in the technological era. A grant recently awarded to the University of Washington, will allow the digitization of National Archives holdings including logbooks, muster rolls and related materials from U.S. naval vessels focusing on the period from 1861 to 1879.

Project funding was awarded to the university by the Council on Library and Information Resources, which is supported by funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant award, totaling $482,000 lists the University of Washington, the National Archives and Records Administration, and the National Archives Foundation as institutional partners.

The project, titled “Seas of Knowledge: Digitization and Retrospective Analysis of the Historical Logbooks of the United States Navy,” will digitize muster rolls of the names of all the enlisted sailors on board. When combined with log books that list the names of officers, historians and family researchers will have unprecedented access to the day-to-day details of life during this period in history.
 

TnFed

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I gave a talk on him at the Ross County Historical Society (Chillicothe OH) last fall that was well-received (Chillicothe was the town he grew up in, though he was born near present-day Virginia Beach). I got to tour his childhood home, which is in the process of being restored (very well, with period materials when possible) by its present owner, along with a Walke relative (a great-somethingth nephew). He's a great topic for a talk with slides because there are so many visuals with his sketches and paintings. :thumbsup: (The Society has one of his few large-format oil paintings, in this case the ship-of-the-line USS North Carolina in the Elizabeth River near Norfolk... Walke served aboard her during her cruise in the Pacific and also was on her when she was a receiving ship at New York.)

Slight correction: The item you mention about the Essex being hit was at Fort Henry, and it was Commander W.D. Porter who was saved from throwing himself overboard. (Foote was wounded at Fort Donelson.)

Author Myron J. Smith, Jr., has noted that some of Walke's writings have a bit of a 'hurt tone' to them, insofar as he was under-recognized (at least by his own lights, but I think with some justification) for his services. I think he was simply unlucky sometimes... for instance, in his memoirs, Grant confuses Walke with another naval officer, S. Ledyard Phelps, during his discussion of the battle of Belmont and some other operations, so that Walke's services were omitted from Grant's widely-read writings. In another instance, Walke in the Sacramento almost literally passed Semmes and the Alabama (which Walke was hunting) in the night in the South Atlantic... it wasn't actually that close, but if Walke had touched at St. Helena as Semmes did, rather than go direct to Cape Town, it's not inconceivable that Walke and the Sacramento would occupy the place that Winslow and the Kearsarge do (the Sacramento was larger, faster, and somewhat more heavily armed than the Kearsarge). And the reason Walke was on the western rivers to begin with was because he was under a bit of a cloud from a recent court-martial for a 'transgression' that really wasn't a fair charge in many people's opinions.

There are some interesting sidelights on Walke from a few journals and private letters I've transcribed. In one, a Chillicothe woman visiting Mound City while the Carondelet was repairing there (probably after Fort Donelson) was shown around the ship by Walke and mentions that he showed her where a Confederate shot had destroyed his easel! His artwork is also noted by a seaman, coxswain John G. Morrison, who kept a diary and mentioned Walke sketching shortly after the surrender of Island No. 10 (Morrison, by the way, was awarded the Medal of Honor as a result of a commendation written by Walke, and there was a WWII destroyer USS John G. Morrison (DD-560) as a result). Morrison seems to have had a good relationship with Walke, in contrast to the ship's steward Terry P. Robinson, who portrayed Walke as rather mercurial and something of a petty tyrant.

Obviously I could go on and on... I'll stop there. :O o:
I was wondering....what is a boy in the Revenue Cutter Service? Do they mean a cabin boy or is that simply the lowest rank? I once knew someone who said they had am ancestor who was a boy in the Revenue...Marine.....Cutter Service , during the War
Thanks. TnFed.
 

Mark F. Jenkins

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I was wondering....what is a boy in the Revenue Cutter Service? Do they mean a cabin boy or is that simply the lowest rank? I once knew someone who said they had am ancestor who was a boy in the Revenue...Marine.....Cutter Service , during the War
Thanks. TnFed.
A "boy" (in either the USRCS or the USN) was, historically, an underage enlisted sailor who usually was employed in fetch-and-carry or housekeeping type tasks aboard ship.
 


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