The Best Confederate Naval Officers?

OldReliable1862

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 2, 2017
Location
Georgia
I've recently been drafted to give a presentation on Confederate naval officers. To make things a bit more fun than just giving my audience a list of names, I decided to make a countdown of my top five Confederate naval commanders. I have an idea of the names that will likely appear, but I'm still deciding on the order.

To get further opinions, I thought I'd open the discussion for everyone. My criteria is simply based on how effective each commander was, and how much they contributed to the overall war effort.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
I've recently been drafted to give a presentation on Confederate naval officers. To make things a bit more fun than just giving my audience a list of names, I decided to make a countdown of my top five Confederate naval commanders. I have an idea of the names that will likely appear, but I'm still deciding on the order.

To get further opinions, I thought I'd open the discussion for everyone. My criteria is simply based on how effective each commander was, and how much they contributed to the overall war effort.
Semmes the Captain of the Alabama. The Alabama was an effective raider for a good little while. The commander if the CSS Florida who allowed the USS Waschusets to somehow tow his ship out of Bahia Brazil without doing any damage to the USS Waschusets maybe not so much on the top five list.
Leftyhunter
 

georgew

First Sergeant
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Location
southern california
OK, are you talking about individual ship commanders or squadron commanders? Some of the most effective Confederate officers were detailed to govt owned or leased runners - would they count? I suspect Isaac Newton Brown would be on this list. Also Catesby Jones effective at sea and ashore. Wilkenson as a runner commander. Would someone like J.H. Warner (engineer) count? John M Brooke (ordnance and ironing), Chas Read (sp operations), J.D. Bulloch (European acquisitions).
 

OldReliable1862

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 2, 2017
Location
Georgia
OK, are you talking about individual ship commanders or squadron commanders? Some of the most effective Confederate officers were detailed to govt owned or leased runners - would they count? I suspect Isaac Newton Brown would be on this list. Also Catesby Jones effective at sea and ashore. Wilkenson as a runner commander. Would someone like J.H. Warner (engineer) count? John M Brooke (ordnance and ironing), Chas Read (sp operations), J.D. Bulloch (European acquisitions).
I am including all naval officers - squadron commanders, ship commanders, and staff officers are all fair game.
 

ucvrelics

Colonel
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
Catesby is buried in Selma
Still much of his family in the area

How about Ebenzer Farrand?
I know all about the man. His GG Grandson is a member of the SCV Catesby ap Roger Jones in Selma. Here are some items in my collection from the original UCV camp.
1615588598030.png
 

Coonewah Creek

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 1, 2018
Location
Northern Alabama
I’d like to throw in a vote for Lieutenant Isaac Newton Brown. He worked miracles in getting the CSS Arkansas fitted out and then ran the gauntlet of Federal ships above Vicksburg. Without the Arkansas, and the threat of a possible sortie against the fleet again, Vicksburg may well have fallen up to a year sooner than it actually did.
 

Mark F. Jenkins

Colonel
Member of the Year
Joined
Mar 31, 2012
Location
Central Ohio
On my old website, I had a "Hall of Fame"-- here were my Confederate naval officer nominees:

Brooke, John Mercer: (1826-1906; Chief of Bureau of Ordnance and Hydrography) For the design of the Brooke rifled and smoothbore cannons; for the design of CSS Virginia (with John Luke Porter).

Brown, Isaac Newton: (1817-1889; Lieutenant, Commander) For the fitting out and command of CSS Arkansas; for supervising the first successful mine operation that resulted in the sinking of USS Cairo.

Buchanan, Franklin: Franklin (1800-1874; Captain, Admiral) For the command of CSS Virginia; for the organization of the Mobile Squadron, including command of CSS Tennessee.

Bulloch, James Dunwoody: (1823-1901; Lieutenant, Commander) For the administration of Confederate naval affairs in Europe, including the acquisition or construction of the blockade runner Fingal and the cruisers CSS Florida, CSS Alabama, and CSS Shenandoah.

Cooke, James Wallace: (1812-1869; Lieutenant, Commander, Captain) For the fitting out and command of CSS Albemarle, including the successful recapture of Plymouth, North Carolina.

Jones, Catesby ap Roger: (1821-1877; Lieutenant, Commander) For the command of CSS Virginia in the battle with USS Monitor; for the organization of Confederate naval gun foundries.

Maffitt, John Newland: (1819-1886; Lieutenant, Commander) For the command of CSS Florida; for the command of several successful blockade runners, including the Florie and the Lilian.

Parker, William Harwar: (1826-1896; Lieutenant) For the command of CSS Beaufort in the Carolina Sounds and Hampton Roads; for service aboard CSS Palmetto State in the attack on the blockaders off Charleston; for the establishment and administration of the Confederate Naval Academy on the schoolship CSS Patrick Henry.

Semmes, Raphael: (1809-1877; Commander, Captain, Rear Admiral) For the command of CSS Sumter; for the command of CSS Alabama; for being the only individual to hold simultaneous commissions as Rear Admiral and Brigadier General.

Waddell, James Iredell: (1824-1886; Lieutenant) For the command of CSS Shenandoah; for the circumnavigation of the globe under the Confederate flag.

Wilkinson, John: (1821-1891; Lieutenant) For the command of several successful blockade runners, most notably the Robert E. Lee; for command of the attempt to rescue Confederate prisoners held on Johnson's Island in Lake Erie.

Wood, John Taylor: (1830-1904; Lieutenant, Commander, Captain) For service aboard CSS Virginia in the fight against USS Monitor; for extensive amphibious raids conducted in Virginia and North Carolina waters; for being the principal naval aide to President Jefferson Davis; for the command of CSS Tallahassee.
 

Mark F. Jenkins

Colonel
Member of the Year
Joined
Mar 31, 2012
Location
Central Ohio
IMHO, the man on that list that made the biggest individual contribution to the Southern war effort was certainly James Dunwoody Bulloch. Without him, no Florida, no Alabama, no Shenandoah, no Fingal to run the blockade and later become the CSS Atlanta, and he even managed through sleight of hand to get a Confederate seagoing ironclad into service (the Stonewall). He wound down his affairs and concluded his accounts almost perfectly, and to top it off he wrote a vital history of the entire proceedings (with some urging by his nephew, later President Theodore Roosevelt).
 
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