Civil War Navies - A Digital History Collection. The naval aspect of the Civil War was as important to the war’s conduct and outcome as any ground campaign. Despite ongoing advances in transportation technology, the majority of men and materiel moved by water. He who controlled America’s waterways would win the war. This naval war was directed by two men: Gideon Welles, the 24th U.S. Secretary of the Navy, and Stephen Mallory, the Confederate States of America’s Secretary of the Navy. Both leaders faced an impossible task. Welles had to transform a peacetime flotilla of fifty decrepit ships into a global fighting fighting force capable of patrolling and controlling thousands of miles of coastline and rivers. Mallory did not even have a navy, yet he had to stave off the U.S. fleet, all the while maintaining a steady flow of supplies from Europe to supply a Confederate Army.
Photo Detail: Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren standing by a Dahlgren gun on deck of U.S.S. Pawnee.
Photo Detail: Ironclad USS Essex at Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Map Detail: Charleston Harbor S.C.. Bombardment of Fort Sumter. From a map by Robert Knox Sneden
Photo Detail: Kearsarge and Alabama
Photo Detail: Charleston Harbor, S.C. Deck and officers of U.S.S. monitor Catskill.
Photo Detail: Captain Gillespie and officers of flagship Philadelphia, Charleston Harbor, S.C.
Artwork Detail: In the Monitor’s Turret
Article Detail: From “Ironclad Technology,” National Park Service
Flash Drive Cover Art
Please note that the gallery samples are smaller and lower resolution so they can be viewed online.
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