Category Archives: Navies

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

On Location: Fort Fisher

At a recent speaking engagement along the Cape Fear River, I had the opportunity to spend some time at one of the Confederacy’s strongest spots: Fort Fisher.  

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Navies, On Location | 4 Comments

Does That Star-Spangled Banner Yet Wave?

I must admit, they sat breathless as I spun the tale about two young men aboard the ship HMS Minden, traveling from Baltimore under a flag of truce to see if they could free their friend Dr. William Beanes from … Continue reading

Posted in Civil War Events, Civil War in Pop Culture, Civilian, Emerging Civil War, Holidays, Memory, Monuments, Navies, Personalities, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Great Naval Leaders

On May 10 I lectured about the Battle of Midway to Old Dominion University’s Institute of Learning in Retirement. Over the course of a wonderful discussion, I assessed one of the U.S. commanders, Raymond Spruance, as “one of the greatest … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Federal, Navies, Personalities, Ties to the War, Trans-Mississippi, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 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

The Siege of Suffolk (part one)

(part one of two) Many of us know that the Civil War involved both large and small campaigns. There are the main theaters: Eastern, Western, Trans-Mississippi. We may also consider sub theaters such as the Carolina coast or Mississippi Valley … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Navies, Sieges | 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

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Emerging Civil War, Navies, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Question of the Week: 2/27-3/5/17

Who is your favorite Civil War era admiral or captain? Why?

Posted in Emerging Civil War, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Navies, Question of the Week | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments