Author Archives: Dwight Hughes

About Dwight Hughes

Dwight Hughes is a retired U.S. Navy Surface Warfare Officer and Vietnam Veteran. He speaks and writes on Civil War naval topics. www.CivilWarNavyHistory.com

What If. . .Vicksburg Had Fallen in July ’62?

In his memoirs, Admiral David D. Porter recollected a November 1861 meeting with President Lincoln and navy secretary Gideon Welles in which—he says—he suggested the plan to seize New Orleans from the sea. Lincoln liked the idea and added: “while … Continue reading

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Unpublished — The International War: Alabama Claims Documentation

This source is not exactly unpublished, but close. It was printed once—long ago—by the U. S. government. Until recently, it was scarce and mostly unknown. And it is a treasure trove of primary source material for the international and naval … Continue reading

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The Lincoln-Douglas Debates Continue: The Supreme Court and Choice

The following is revised from an article first posted here on November 3, 2016. Politics and the Supreme Court are much in the news today, as they were in 1858 when Abraham Lincoln debated Stephen Douglas for the U.S. Senate … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War, Lincoln, Politics, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Wet March: USS Monitor Almost Sinks

If by “on the march,” we mean the exercise of rapidly shifting a combat unit from behind the lines to where the action is while overcoming formidable obstacles of terrain and weather, then the U.S. Navy had its own wet … Continue reading

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The Most Frightened Man and the Ironclads

One hundred and sixty years ago yesterday, March 8, 1862, a frustrated commander in chief convened another council of war to prod Major General George B. McClellan into action. McClellan proposed to transport the Army of the Potomac down the … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary, Battles, Emerging Civil War, Leadership--Federal, Lincoln, Navies | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Ships vs Forts 1861: Off to the Races

L to R: USS Harriet Lane (background), USS Wabash, USS Minnesota, USS Pawnee It was unthinkable for wooden warships in the long age of sail to engage massive forts mounting huge guns often firing heated shot plunging from the heights. … Continue reading

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The Lincoln-Douglas Debates Continue: What is Equality?

On October 13, 1858, Abraham Lincoln spoke to the crowd at Quincy, Illinois, about the most divisive controversy of the time. It was a disturbing issue. It was a dangerous issue. They would be better prepared, he noted, to discuss … Continue reading

Posted in Immigrants, Lincoln, Politics, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The “Emerging Civil War Series” Series: Unlike Anything that Ever Floated

The Format of History: The ECW Series Although not my first book, Unlike Anything That Ever Floated is the first for the Emerging Civil War Series. This work presented both unique challenges and deep satisfactions deriving from the series format. … Continue reading

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Rolling on the River: Civil War Brown-Water Navies

A blue-coated rider appeared atop the riverbank above the bow of the steamer Belle Memphis. Rebels massed in the cornfield behind him discharged volleys that whistled by the horseman, whanged through the tall smokestacks, and thudded into the vessel’s superstructure. … Continue reading

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Under Fire — Feeling Something Warm: A Gunner on USS Congress in the Battle of Hampton Roads

The fearsome Rebel ironclad CSS Virginia (ex USS Merrimack, aka Merrimac) materialized in Hampton Roads, Virginia, that calm and clear Saturday morning, March 8, 1862. “The ‘Merrimac’ was steaming slowly towards us,” recalled Seaman Frederick H. Curtis of the wooden … Continue reading

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