Category Archives: Navies

The Confederate Navy’s Order of Battle at New Orleans: A Reflection of Political Tensions

ECW welcomes back guest author Neil P. Chatelain. The ECW post on September 27, 2018 titled “Order of Battle – Why Those Lists Matter” reminded me of my own research, and I began doing what historians do: using thoughts and … Continue reading

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ECW Weekender: View from the Ramparts – Fortress Monroe, Virginia

In the gathering dusk of Saturday, March 8, 1862, a young Union telegrapher, John Emmet O’Brien, stood on the ramparts of Fortress Monroe on Old Point Comfort dominating the entrance to Hampton Roads, Virginia. He looked to the right and … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, ECW Weekender, National Park Service, Navies | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The First Contraband Combatants

“The scene on board the flag-ship was novel and thrilling. The thunder of the conflict drowned all other noises,” wrote historian John S. C. Abbott.[1] In one of the first Civil War histories, written while it happened, Abbott employed elegant … Continue reading

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At Sea: Fighting For Freedom

African Americans hazarded their lives and freedom against the nation’s enemies in the colonial and United States navies while achieving a level of respect, relatively fair treatment, and economic opportunities generally not available ashore. (Dwight Hughes, 2018, ECW Blog) In … Continue reading

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USS Mississippi Visits Okinawa

In 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in the Far East to open up relations with Japan. His first flagship was USS Mississippi, a side-wheel steamer. Before going to Tokyo, Perry stopped at Okinawa to deal with the Okinawan king regarding … Continue reading

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Primary Sources: Through a Telescope Backwards

Perhaps no experience is more fulfilling for a historian than becoming immersed in contemporary first-person chronicles, viewing dramatic happenings through the eyes of those who lived them. Thankfully, our Civil War ancestors were avid and literate recorders of that fascinating … Continue reading

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A Confederate New Year Far, Far Away

December 31, 1864: The CSS Shenandoah—the remotest and loneliest outpost of the beleaguered Confederacy—stretched her wings with all sails set as she surged across the Indian Ocean. Her officers were a cross section of the South from Maryland, Virginia, North … Continue reading

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Railroads – McClellan’s Steam Strategy: Trains and Ships in the Civil War

“It cannot be ignored that the construction of railroads has introduced a new and very important element into war,” wrote Major General George B. McClellan in a “Memorandum for the Consideration of His Excellency the President, submitted at his request,” … Continue reading

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Question of the Week: 9/10-9/16/18

Let’s talk Civil War Navies… Do you have a favorite ship or ironclad from the conflict? Why?

Posted in Navies, Question of the Week | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Around We Go: In the Monitor Turret

Lieutenant Samuel D. Greene, USN, had a problem. He was encased within a dim, claustrophobic, metal drum—20 feet in diameter—behind eight layers of bolted and riveted 1-inch-thick iron plates in charge of two immense 11-inch Dahlgren shell guns, each 13 … Continue reading

Posted in Arms & Armaments, Artillery, Battles, Emerging Civil War, Navies, Weapons | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments