Tag Archives: USS Monitor

The Wet March: USS Monitor Almost Sinks

If by “on the march,” we mean the exercise of rapidly shifting a combat unit from behind the lines to where the action is while overcoming formidable obstacles of terrain and weather, then the U.S. Navy had its own wet … Continue reading

Posted in Navies | Tagged , , , , , | 3 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

A Most Profitable Ironclad: The Miniature Monitor That Raised Funds and Hope for the Union

To be certain, the medical arm of the United States military was unprepared for the scope of the war that was thrust upon it in 1861, counting only 98 physicians in its ranks at the outbreak of the Civil War. … Continue reading

Posted in Civilian, Navies | 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

ECW Weekender: Fort Gaines

On the tip of Dauphin Island, Alabama, sits the impressive brick and mason Fort Gaines, a silent sentinel of Mobile Bay. In the parade ground of the fort is displayed the anchor of the USS Hartford the flagship of Admiral David … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Emerging Civil War, Monuments | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

First Battle of Ironclads: Myths, Facts, What Ifs

Today is the 159th anniversary of the battle and my new Emerging Civil War Series book, Unlike Anything That Ever Floated: The Monitor and Virginia and the Battle Hampton Roads, March 8-9, 1862 is just hitting the shelves. Time for … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Navies | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Loss of the USS Monitor

It was on this date, December 31, 1862, at 1:30 a.m.—in the earliest hours of New Year’s Eve—that the USS Monitor went down in rough seas off Cape Hatteras. Sixteen men aboard lost their lives. Forty-seven men, including Captain John … Continue reading

Posted in Monuments, Navies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments