Chesapeake Bay in the Civil War
At the start of the great Civil War, the Chesapeake Bay was a crucially important piece of watery real estate, with North and South struggling for its control. Up the Potomac, the Chesapeake's second-largest tributary, lay the capital of the United States; up the James, the Chesapeake's third-largest tributary, lay the Confederate capital. Whoever controlled the Bay would determine the course of the war.
On the Rappahannock and other rivers of the region, fierce and tragic battles were fought. Down the Bay, the greatest American army ever assembled waged war. In Chesapeake waters, naval warfare was transformed forever, and on the rivers and the open Bay, the Civil War was finally won.
This thoroughly readable narrative covers events in Chesapeake country, from the months preceding the conflict to shortly after the death of Lincoln. Throughout the war the Bay was a marshy danger zone crawling with privateers, smugglers, and spies. It was a place where classic army-navy operations were carried out, where runaway slaves became contraband, where brother literally fought brother, and where freedom was denied, for the sake of preserving freedom.
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