American Civil War
Naval Summary

As a result of operations on the high seas, on rivers, and in bays and harbors, the Navy was a decisive factor in the Civil War's outcome.

The Union Navy blockaded some three thousand miles of Confederate coast from Virginia to Texas in a mammoth effort to Cut off supplies, destroy the Southern economy, and discourage foreign intervention. The Navy joined with the Army to launch a series of major amphibious assaults, including those at Port Royal Sound, South Carolina, under Flag Officer Samuel F. DuPont, and Wilmington, North Carolina, led by Admiral David Dixon Porter. These successful actions sealed off Confederate blockade-runner havens, and assured blockading ships essential coaling stations and bases on the Southern coast.

Admiral David Glasgow Farragut's victory at New Orleans denied Confederate egress from the Mississippi, and opened that mighty river to penetration northward by Union forces. In a giant pincers campaign, river gunboats moved north and south along the Mississippi and her tributaries.

Following the capture of strategic Fort McHenry by Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote, one Confederate river stronghold after another fell to the combined attack of the Union Navy and Army. Vicksburg, the final bastion, was battered into submission 4 July 1863, and the Confederacy was mortally split along the vital Mississippi artery. Meanwhile in the east, the historic USS Monitor-CSS Virginia (ex-Merrimack) battle, first combat between ironclads, marked the dawn of a new era in naval warfare. The most famous of Confederate commerce raiders, CSS Alabama, Captain Raphael Semmes, played havoc with Northern shipping until being brought to bay off the French coast and sunk in a ship-to-ship duel with USS Kearsarge, Captain John Winslow.

Although Confederate forces fought valiantly throughout the war, control of the sea by the Union Navy isolated the South, and gave Northern military forces the added dimension of mobility which sea power provides.

Confederate Phoenix: The CSS Virginia
The CSS Virginia of the Confederate States Navy destroyed two of the most formidable warships in the U.S. Navy. Suddenly, with this event, every wooden warship in every navy in the world became totally obsolete

CSS Virginia vs. USS Monitor
Civil War Ship

Civil War Ships and Naval Battles
Battles by Campaign
United States Navy DVDs
Civil War Submarines
American Civil War Exhibits
Civil War State Battle Maps
Civil War Summary
Confederate Navy History

Hatteras Island
The Civil War on Hatteras Island North Carolina
New light on the experiences of Civil War soldiers stationed on the Outer Banks. It follows the crucial maritime battles along the Outer Banks and the famous Burnsides Expedition. Aa fascinating history of how one of America's most treasured islands played a significant part in the Civil War
Kindle Available
Raising the Hunley

Raising the Hunley: The Remarkable History and Recovery of the Lost Confederate Submarine
For more than a century the fate of the Hunley remained one of the great unsolved mysteries of the Civil War. Then, on August 8, 2000, with thousands of spectators crowding Charleston Harbor, the Hunley was raised from the bottom of the sea and towed ashore.
The Story of the CSS Hunley
The Story of the H.L. Hunley
During the Civil War, Union forces blockade the port of Charleston so the Confederate army seeks a way to attrack the Yankee Ships. George Dixon is part of the group of men given the task of creating and building the "fish boat," a submarine. The H.L. Hunley ultimately sets out on its mission to sink Yankee ships, but fails to return, its whereabouts unknown.
Kindle Available
Wolf of the Deep

Wolf of the Deep: Raphael Semmes and the Notorious Confederate Raider CSS Alabama
In July 1862, the Confederate captain Raphael Semmes received orders to report to Liverpool, where he would take command of a secret new British-built steam warship. His mission: to prey on Union commercial vessels and undermine the North's ability to continue the war
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.
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
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
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


Naval Historical Center