USS Bienville
American Civil War Union Naval Ship

USS Bienville (1861-1867).
Originally the civilian steamship Bienville (1860)

Bienville , a 1558-ton (Burden) wooden side-wheel steamship built at Brooklyn, New York in 1860, was purchased by the Navy in August 1861 as part of the great expansion that took place in the first months of the Civil War. She was commissioned in October 1861 and soon participated in the expedition that seized future Naval bases at Port Royal and Beaufort, South Carolina. Bienville operated off the Confederacy's Atlantic coast for more than a year, taking part in the capture of positions along the Georgia and Florida shore as well as ending the careers of several blockade runners, among them the steamers Stettin (taken on 24 May 1862) and Patras (27 May 1862).

In 1863, Bienville was transferred to the Gulf of Mexico, where she continued her blockading work. In addition, she supported the capture of the entrances to Mobile Bay, Alabama, on 5 August 1864. In an operation typical of the era's coastal warfare, she sent a boat party into Galveston Bay, Texas, on the night of 7 February 1865 and seized two schooners loaded with cotton. Bienville was decommissioned soon after the end of the Civil War. Following some two years in reserve, she was sold in October 1867. Operating under the same name as a commercial steamship, she lasted until 15 August 1872, when a fire destroyed her at Watling Island, Bahamas.

Watercolor by Erik Heyl, 1947, painted for use in his book "Early American Steamers", Volume I.
Built at Brooklyn, New York, in 1860, this steamer served as USS Bienville in 1861-1867.

Merchant Steamers Converted into Gun-boats
Engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1861.
It depicts thirteen merchant steamships acquired by the U.S. Navy between April and August 1861 and subsequently converted into warships, plus the steamer Nashville (far left), which became a Confederate cruiser.
U.S. Navy ships, as identified below the image bottom, are (from left to right: Alabama , Quaker City , Santiago de Cuba (listed as "St. Jago de Cuba", Mount Vernon , Massachusetts , South Carolina , Florida , De Soto , Augusta , James Adger , Monticello , Bienville and R.R. Cuyler

USS Monitor
War, Technology, and Experience aboard the USS Monitor
The experience of the men aboard the Monitor and their reactions to the thrills and dangers that accompanied the new machine. The invention surrounded men with iron and threatened their heroism, their self-image as warriors, even their lives




Kindle Available
Naval Strategies

Naval Strategies of the Civil War: Confederate Innovations and Federal Opportunism
Compare and contrast the strategies of the Southern Secretary of the Navy, Mallory, against his rival in the North, Welles. Mallory used technological innovation and the skill of individuals to bolster the South's seapower against the Union Navy's superior numbers
Civil War Replica Musket
Civil War Musket
Wood & Steel Frontier Rifle Designed After The Original Rifle





Army
72 Piece Civil War Army Men
Play Set 52mm Union and Confederate Figures, Bridge, Horses, Canon
  • 48 Union and Confederate Soldiers up to 2-1/8 inches tall
  • 4 Horses, 4 Sandbag Bunkers, 6 Fence Sections, 3 Cannon, 3 Limber Wagons (Ammo Carts)
  • Bridge, Small Barracks, 2 Cardboard buildings
  • Scale: About 1/35th

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Kindle Available
Ironclad vs Monitor

Confederate Ironclad vs Union Ironclad: Hampton Roads 1862
The Ironclad was a revolutionary weapon of war. Although iron was used for protection in the Far East during the 16th century, it was the 19th century and the American Civil War that heralded the first modern armored self-propelled warships.
Monitor
Year on a Monitor and the Destruction of Fort Sumter
Personal view of the Civil War Navy. The monitor saw action in several significant naval assaults by the Union's Squadron. It took part in the failed Federal attack on Sumter in April 1863. The "Nahant" also participated in the capture of the Confederate Ram "Atlanta," and in the assault on Fort Wagner
Contrbands
Blockaders, Refugees, and Contrabands: Civil War on Florida'S Gulf Coast, 1861-1865
Coastal Florida had a refugee crisis as the war progressed. Escaped slaves ("contrabands") sought out the blockaders. Some joined the U.S. Navy. White men and their families sought to avoid conscription or vengeful neighbors/regulators and eventually sought refuge with the blockaders
Kindle Available
Hunley the Confederacy Secrect Hope

The H. L. Hunley
The Secret Hope of the Confederacy

On the evening of February 17, 1864, the Confederacy  H. L. Hunley sank the USS Housatonic and became the first submarine in world history to sink an enemy ship. Not until World War I "half a century later” would a submarine again accomplish such a feat. But also perishing that moonlit night, vanishing beneath the cold Atlantic waters off Charleston, South Carolina, was the Hunley and her entire crew of eight

Halls of Honor
Halls of Honor
The U.S. Navy Museum takes you on an informed and entertaining romp through one of North America s oldest and finest military museums. The museum has been in continuous operation at the Washington Navy Yard since the American Civil War
Raise the Alabama
Raise The Alabama
She was known as "the ghost ship." During the Civil War, the CSS Alabama sailed over 75,000 miles and captured more than 60 Union vessels. But her career came to an end in June of 1864 when she was sunk by the USS Kearsarge off the coast of Northern France
Civil War
The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns
Here is the saga of celebrated generals and ordinary soldiers, a heroic and transcendent president and a country that had to divide itself in two in order to become one
Blue vs Grey
Blue Vs. Gray - Killing Fields
Relive the most vicious fighting of the Civil War, in which General Ulysses S. Grant forcibly reversed the tide of the conflict by paying with the blood of thousands. It was a desperate time for the Union

Sources:
U.S. National Park Service
U.S. Library of Congress
US Naval Archives


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