Tag Archives: CSS Virginia

Ironclads vs. Fort: Drewry’s Bluff and Fort Darling

On a steamy Virginia day this summer, I visited the site along the west bank of the James River where a small-scale but significant engagement took place on May 15, 1862, during the Virginia Peninsula campaign. Fort Darling on Drewry’s … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Navies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Repurposing Captured Enemy Vessels Part 3: US Vessels Flying the Confederate Flag

In Part 1 of this four-part series, I examined how the United States was able to capture and repurpose three Confederate ironclad warships. In Part 2, I continued that examination, expanding it to examine wooden vessels of the Confederacy captured … Continue reading

Posted in Navies, Weapons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Repurposing Captured Enemy Vessels Part 1: Confederate Ironclads Flying the US Flag

Ever wonder why there was a US Navy warship during the Civil War named after Confederate General Braxton Bragg? Or why there is a Confederate warship named after US President James Buchannan’s niece and de facto first lady? These confusing … Continue reading

Posted in Navies, Weapons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Blasting His Way into the History Books: Assessing the Role of Cdr. Hunter Davidson

ECW welcomes back guest author John M. Coski At 2:00 a.m. on April 9, 1864, the small, steam-driven boat Squib, commanded by Confederate Navy Lieutenant Hunter Davidson, exploded a 53-pound spar torpedo against the hull of the U.S. steam frigate … Continue reading

Posted in Arms & Armaments, Navies, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Most Frightened Man and the Ironclads

One hundred and sixty years ago yesterday, March 8, 1862, a frustrated commander in chief convened another council of war to prod Major General George B. McClellan into action. McClellan proposed to transport the Army of the Potomac down the … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary, Battles, Emerging Civil War, Leadership--Federal, Lincoln, Navies | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The First Draft of Naval History: USS Minnesota’s Deck Log and the Battle of Hampton Roads

In naval circles, the deck log is sacred. It is a ship’s official record, documenting location, weather, personnel and supply transfers, and changes in course and speed. Anything significant, important, or novel is recorded in a ship’s log and signed … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Navies, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Under Fire — Feeling Something Warm: A Gunner on USS Congress in the Battle of Hampton Roads

The fearsome Rebel ironclad CSS Virginia (ex USS Merrimack, aka Merrimac) materialized in Hampton Roads, Virginia, that calm and clear Saturday morning, March 8, 1862. “The ‘Merrimac’ was steaming slowly towards us,” recalled Seaman Frederick H. Curtis of the wooden … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Common Soldier, Navies | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Recruiting the Crew: Iron Men for Iron Ships

Both Civil War navies faced severe recruiting shortages in that first war year and indeed throughout the conflict. The U. S. Navy expanded tenfold, competing for enlistees not only against the army but also alongside the burgeoning, more lucrative, and … Continue reading

Posted in Common Soldier, Navies, Regiments | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Paradox of the Lost Cause: Part I

Emerging Civil War is pleased to welcome guest contributor Adam Burke… Tucked into the nook of a large brick building in historic Harpers Ferry is a conspicuous granite monolith. It stands along Potomac Street, a lesser traveled street one block … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Economics, Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

The ECW Series Gets Naval: Prepare for the clash of the ironclads!

The clash of the Monitor vs. the Merrimack—the alliterative “M’s” made for a catchy hook for many of us as kids!—is one of the best-known stories of the Civil War: two iron sea beasts trading explosive blows, battling to a … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War Series, Navies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments