Category Archives: Navies

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?

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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

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Sunk In The Mill Pond: The Fate of the Ironclad Models

The model vessels floated quietly on the millpond water. On the bank, the boys aimed their toy cannon. They’d finally found a target that wouldn’t shoot back and would keep them from getting a scolding. Or so they thought… After-all, … Continue reading

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Unvexed Waters: Mississippi River Squadron, Part 2

Part I of this post introduced the unprecedented U.S. Army Western Gunboat Flotilla—soon to be reorganized as the U.S. Navy Mississippi River Squadron—and carried it through the victorious battles of Forts Henry and Donelson, Tennessee, in February 1862. The next … Continue reading

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Civil War Echoes: The Greatest Raid of All

One hundred years ago today, construction began on USS Buchanan (DD-131), a destroyer named for Franklin Buchanan, the first superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy and later first admiral in the Confederate States Navy. She later played a role in … Continue reading

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Unvexed Waters: Mississippi River Squadron, Part I

History offers few examples other than the Civil War and Vietnam of extensive operations on inland shallow waters involving specialized classes of war vessels commanded and manned by naval personnel. The struggle for the Mississippi River, the spine of America, … Continue reading

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Scenes from Vicksburg (postscript)

part of a series After my two and a half days in Vicksburg, I’m safely ensconced back home in the heart of the Eastern Theater of the Civil War. But wow, what a time I had. I had a few … Continue reading

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Scenes from Vicksburg, Day 3 (part three)

part of a series After a wicked cool firing demonstration provided exclusively for us by Vicksburg National Military Park, we took a trip to the northern tip of the park to visit the USS Cairo. The Cairo was a city-class … Continue reading

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Scenes from Vicksburg, Day 3 (part one)

part of a series I’ve been in Vicksburg for the American Battlefield Trust and Emerging Civil War to commemorate the 155th anniversary of the Vicksburg campaign. We actually started Thursday’s adventures with a holdover from Wednesday: a Facebook LIVE shoot … Continue reading

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