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. CivilWarNavyHistory.com

The Naval Civil War in Theaters Near and Far

Civil War military history occurs in the context of “theaters” including the Eastern, the Western, and the Trans-Mississippi with sub-theaters within each. This framework organizes operations in terms of discrete location, environment, interacting events, influences, and consequences. The naval side … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, Emerging Civil War, Navies | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Into the Volcano with the Ironclad CSS Arkansas

Part I of this tale left the lonely Arkansas and Captain Isaac N. Brown on July 15, 1862, facing a gauntlet of Yankee deep-water warships, steam rams, river ironclads, gunboats, and bomb vessels as he ran down the Mississippi toward Vicksburg. … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War, Navies, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Monumental Discussion: Dwight Hughes

This is a story of three statues in context. Known locally as “Appomattox,” the first statue is a humble Confederate soldier standing tall on his plinth at a busy intersection in Alexandria, Virginia. He is a dignified but sad fellow, … Continue reading

Posted in Civil War in Pop Culture, Emerging Civil War, Monuments, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Down the Yazoo with the Ironclad CSS Arkansas

Running downriver with the surging Mississippi in the CSS Arkansas on July 15, 1862, Captain Isaac N. Brown peered through the morning mist and saw: “A forest of masts and smoke-stacks—ships, rams, iron-clads, and other gun-boats on the left side, … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Emerging Civil War, Navies, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

My Favorite Historical Person: Eugene Matthew O’Brien

Eugene Matthew O’Brien is among those obscure Civil War multitudes whose collective stories inspire for their courage, dedication, and sacrifice even if we know little about them individually—although his story is a bit unusual. O’Brien was a steam engineer who … Continue reading

Posted in Navies, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Failed Ironclads: CSS Mississippi and CSS Louisiana at New Orleans

In October 1861, the skeletons of two strange iron monsters began to emerge from the Mississippi bank at Jefferson City, just north of New Orleans. They would become the CSS Mississippi and CSS Louisiana. Confederate Navy Secretary Stephen Mallory had … Continue reading

Posted in Arms & Armaments, Battles, Emerging Civil War, Navies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ECW Weekender: The Farthest Battlefield—CSS Shenandoah at Pohnpei

This Civil War site is a paradisiacal place to pass a weekend—if you can get there. April fool’s day, 1865: In the misty glow of dawn, soaring emerald peaks sprouted from azure seas as the CSS Shenandoah, last of the … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, ECW Weekender, Emerging Civil War, Memory, Navies | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

ECW Weekender: The USS Monitor Center

Have you ever been aboard a Civil War ironclad, or two? You can come close in The USS Monitor Center nestled in a beautiful setting at The Mariners’ Museum & Park, Newport News, Virginia. The Monitor Center is the official … Continue reading

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Modern Photography: No Monuments on the Ocean

There are no monuments on the ocean, no crossroads in the great waters, no places echoing in heart and mind—Gettysburg, Shiloh, Chickamauga. But our Civil War ancestors were out there too and some of them still are. Names that resonate … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Memory, Monuments, Navies, Photography, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Nashville Dash

“Great excitement has been created here by the arrival in our waters this morning of a steamer of war bearing the flag of the Confederate States of America,” reported the London Times on November 22, 1861.[1] This first such visitor … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War | 7 Comments