Category Archives: Navies

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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Civil War Echoes: Manila Bay 1898

Today in 1898, 120 years ago, the Asiatic Squadron under Commodore George Dewey entered Manila Bay seeking to destroy the Spanish flotilla anchored inside near Cavite. Dewey’s ships sailed past Corregidor, an island that would mean much more in U.S. … Continue reading

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Sea Power at Port Royal Sound: A Missed Opportunity?

On November 5, 1861, the Confederate Secretary of War established the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia, and East Florida as a military department, assigning one of his most senior and experienced officers, General R. E. Lee, to command it. No … Continue reading

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“We Come to Hail This Hero”: Dedicating the Admiral Farragut Statue

On the evening of April 25, 1881, President James A. Garfield sat down to write in his diary as he did most nights.  Garfield had only been president for about seven weeks, and much of his time had thus far … Continue reading

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The Superlatives of New Orleans 1862

Today at 3 AM, a Federal fleet under Flag Officer David G. Farragut began to run Forts Jackson and St. Philip, located south of New Orleans. He passed the forts with minimal damage, and in a running fight his ships … Continue reading

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