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BOOK REVIEW – The CSS Albemarle and William Cushing: The Remarkable Confederate Ironclad and the Union Officer Who Sank It

By Jim Stempel, McFarland and Co., Publishers, Jefferson, NC (2011) Reviewed by Robert P. Largess Writing years after the Civil War, Gideon Welles remarked of William B. Cushing: “…the great chief of the American Navy, Farragut…said to me that while no navy had braver or better officers than ours, young Cushing was the hero of

Sharing Naval History: Students Learn African American Heritage in Hampton City Schools

You never know where you find naval history. A recent email exchange that began through our social media outlets led to some interesting information one of our Facebook fans was kind enough to share about her family and professional ties to naval history.   Guest Post By Pam Neilson During my childhood in the 1950s and

Blood, Bravery, and Intrepid Ships: 5 Epic Naval Battles (PART II)

Blood, Bravery, and Intrepid Ships is a new limited, 5-part blog series exploring 5 epic naval battles throughout the history of the United States Navy. DISCLAIMER: This post is related to the 6th Season, 9th episode of the HBO series Game of Thrones titled “Battle of the Bastards.” Although the historical content of the five

BOOK REVIEW – Confederate Saboteurs: Building the Other Secret Weapons of the Civil War

By Mark K. Ragan, Texas A&M University Press, College Station, TX (2015) Reviewed by John Grady Mark Ragan’s Confederate Saboteurs does a wonderful job of shining new light on the extraordinary steps that the government in Richmond, and more importantly the inventive men from all over the seceded states, were willing to take to win

BOOK REVIEW – A Confederate Biography: The Cruise of the CSS Shenandoah

By Dwight Sturtevant Hughes, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2016) Reviewed by Diana L. Ahmad, Ph.D. A graduate of the Naval Academy in 1967, Dwight Hughes provides an excellent account of CSS Shenandoah that is easily understood by historians and lay audiences alike. Readers quickly come to feel the movement of the ship as she

BOOK REVIEW – In the Shadow of the Alabama: The British Foreign Office and the American Civil War

By Renata Eley Long, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2015) Reviewed by Kenneth J. Blume, Ph.D. Built and launched at the Laird shipyard in 1862, CSS Alabama became the most notorious of the Confederacy’s commerce raiders, devastating Union merchant shipping and contributing to an irreversible “flight from the flag.” Her career ended two years later

BOOK REVIEW – To Retain Command of the Mississippi: The Civil War Campaign for Memphis

By Edward B. McCaul, The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN (2014) Reviewed by Robert P. Largess Seldom has a naval campaign been more critical to the future of the United States than the drive to control the Mississippi River and split the South in two during the Civil War. Along with the naval blockade,

The Prize of History: USS Monitor Prize-Money Claims

By Bill Edwards-Bodmer The events during the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 8 and 9, 1862 are well-known.  From an objective viewpoint, the battle was tactically a draw.  Neither ship was disabled to the point of being unable to continue the fight.  A misinterpretation of each other’s movements caused both ships to withdraw.  Beginning

Cracking Gibraltar: The Union Takes Fort Fisher (PART III)

Cracking Gibraltar is a blog series from the Naval Historical Foundation that will discuss the Army-Navy relationship involved in taking Fort Fisher, the last remaining Confederate stronghold in the Atlantic. READ PART I and PARTII. PART III: Cracking Gibraltar Following the embarrassing show of force at Fort Fisher in December, General Grant and other wartime

Cracking Gibraltar: The Union Takes Fort Fisher (PART II)

Cracking Gibraltar is a blog series from the Naval Historical Foundation that will discuss the Army-Navy relationship involved in taking Fort Fisher, the last remaining Confederate stronghold in the Atlantic. READ PART I. PART II: Butler’s “Singular and Interesting Disclosures” Porter’s distaste for Butler was no secret. Political generals like Butler received regular harassment from career men

Cracking Gibraltar: The Union Takes Fort Fisher (PART I)

Cracking Gibraltar is a blog series from the Naval Historical Foundation that will discuss the Army-Navy relationship involved in taking Fort Fisher, the last remaining Confederate stronghold in the Atlantic. PART I: The Jonah of the Fleet President Abraham Lincoln awoke on the morning of December 27th to disheartening news. Less than a week after

BOOK REVIEW – Captain Bulloch: The Life of James Dunwoody Bulloch, Naval Agent of the Confederacy

Captain Bulloch:  The Life of James Dunwoody Bulloch, Naval Agent of the Confederacy By Stephen Chapin Kinnaman, Dog Ear Publishing, Indianapolis, IN.  (2013) Reviewed by Mark Lardas James Dunwoody Bulloch is best known as the man behind the Civil War’s Confederate raiders.  He organized the construction and outfitting of Florida, Alabama, and Stonewall, among others.

McPherson at SMH Dinner: “The Moral Courage of Risk Taking”

By John Grady The Navy was more successful in its campaigns like Port Royal, S.C. and New Orleans than the Army during the American Civil War particularly in the Virginia Theater.  According to Pulitzer Prize-winning author James McPherson, it was “partially due to the professionalism of Navy leadership in high positions.”  Dr. McPherson answered these