Category Archives: Navies

A Most Curious Battle: Memphis, June 6, 1862

In the early morning hours, hundreds of Memphis citizens assembled high on the bluffs to observe the battle. But there were no surging ranks of blue and gray in the valley below, just the Big Muddy rolling broad and inexorable … Continue reading

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19th Century Asymmetrical Warfare: Privateering, the Savannah, and the Enchantress Affair

ECW welcomes back guest author Leon Reed. As early as his inaugural address, Confederate President Jefferson Davis warned the United States, and other shippers of the world, that he intended to authorize privateers, the traditional means of naval warfare engaged … Continue reading

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Seven “Persons of Importance”

In the early morning hours of May 17, 1865, off the far southwestern cape of mainland Florida, pickets stationed there by Union General John Newton intercepted a small vessel bound for Cuba. That promontory, jutting out into the Gulf of … Continue reading

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Jacob Zeilin, USMC

The American Battlefield Trust Conference this year was to have featured a tour of mine about the Marine Battalion at the First Battle of Manassas. It has been postponed until 2021. In the meantime, I wanted to share some of … Continue reading

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The Marines at First Manassas

The American Battlefield Trust Conference this year was to have featured a tour of mine about the Marine Battalion at the First Battle of Manassas. It has been postponed until 2021. In the meantime, I wanted to share some of … Continue reading

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The Unlikely Sultana Monument

April 27 marks the anniversary of the explosion of the riverboat Sultana, which blew up on this date in 1865 near Memphis, TN. Overloaded with more than 2,100 passengers—most of them paroled Union prisoners—she went down when three of her … Continue reading

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The U.S. Marines of 1861

The American Battlefield Trust Conference this year was to have featured a tour of mine about the Marine Battalion at the First Battle of Manassas. It has been postponed until 2021. In the meantime, I wanted to share some of … Continue reading

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Ending The War: The Darkest Day

“The darkest day of my life,” wrote Lieutenant William Whittle in his journal entry for August 2, 1865. “The past is gone for naught—the future is dark as the blackest night. Oh! God protect and comfort us I pray.” The … Continue reading

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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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