Category Archives: Navies

The Emergency Ironclads

In late summer 1861, the United States Navy initiated a crash program to build their first ironclad warships, leading directly to the titanic clash between the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia (ex USS Merrimack) in Hampton Roads on March … Continue reading

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Question of the Week: 3/9-3/15/2020

If you could’ve had the opportunity to serve in a Civil War ironclad, would you have volunteered? Why or why not?

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History in Pieces

History comes in many pieces. My good friend Hal, a retired navy captain, collects Civil War naval artifacts. He acquired items that caught his eye over the years without any particular theme in mind only to find threads and connections … Continue reading

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Tracking the Lost Silver of the Benjamin F. Hoxie

Emerging Civil War welcomes back guest author Neil P. Chatelain Throughout the Civil War, the Confederate navy’s commerce raiders captured hundreds of Union merchants. A major task of these raiders included efforts to intercept vessels shipping bullion, both gold and … Continue reading

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ECW Weekender: Exploring Columbus, Georgia with Kennesaw State University’s Upcoming Bus Tour

Looking to explore some history and museums in Columbus, Georgia? The National Civil War Naval Museum stands on the bank of the Chattahoochee River. It preserves the largest surviving Confederate warship, the CSS Jackson, as well as the wreckage of … Continue reading

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An Ancient and Fearsome Weapon: The Ram

The ram—the main armament of sleek and swift Greek triremes powered by 180 rowers—turned back a Persian invasion at the Battle of Salamis in 480 BC and launched Western Civilization. Rowing galleys ruled the Mediterranean for two more millennia, the … Continue reading

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The Fall of Fort Henry and the Changing of Confederate Strategy

Fort Donelson has “Unconditional Surrender” Grant. It has an early morning Confederate attack, a breakout by Nathan Bedford Forrest and, in short, the stuff that makes good history. But from this outsider’s perspective looking in on the Western Theater, I … Continue reading

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Sink Before Surrender: The CSS Virginia Gets Underway

In the dawn of that fateful Saturday, March 8, 1862, the CSS Virginia lay alongside the Gosport Shipyard quay on the west bank of the Elizabeth River across from Norfolk, Virginia, and just upriver from Hampton Roads. The storm passed … Continue reading

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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

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