Navy Gray: Engineering the Confederate Navy on the Chattahoochee and Apalachicola Rivers (Google eBook)
The story of the Confederate Navy been told less often than the spectacular history of the armies, but many of the familiar elements are there: the exuberant hopes of the Confederacy, the risk in spite of very long odds against success, the basic deficits in resources becoming desperate needs, and the dogged, exhausted persistence in the face of certain defeat. The story is epic in its importance to a nation and a people. New strategies and developing technology, however, introduce new elements into this story of the Civil War. The officers and men of the Confederate Navy were defeated at every turn by a national policy and a local tangle of political, economic, and social issues. Southern officers resigned their Union Navy commissions to fight for principle -- and soon found themselves enmeshed in construction schedules and bureaucratic delays. All too often, naval officers on both sides found themselves engaged in what is now termed "modern warfare". In this story of the Civil War, the phrase "arms and the man" begins to take on the contemporary ring of man and machine and man within and against the system.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - ksmyth - LibraryThing
Turner examines naval developments on the Chattahoochee/Apalachicola river systems during the Civil War. It is an interesting book catering strongly to this region's participation. A lot of attention ... Read full review
This book is a masterful telling of the Confederate States' creation of a full-fledged navy, including shipyards, foundries, and construction facilities. At the beginning of the northern invasion, the CSA was unprepared for armed conflict (after all--wasn't the "United States" a voluntary association of free and sovereign states, from which any could withdraw at any time, as John Adams said in 1813, when he threatened to pull New England out of the union?), particularly of the naval variety. This telling of how CSA Secretary of the Navy Mallory, and other extremely talented and dedicated men, created an entire Naval System, with shipyards, iron mines, smelters, foundries, and training centers, all in only a couple of years, I found riveting. I was given an initial copy of the book by C. Frank Bazzell, of Florida, a very learned southern history buff, soon after publication, and had the pleasure of speaking with the author by phone on several occasions. Eventually Bazzell took me to the archives at Chapel Hill, where I got to see many of the letters and documents upon which Mrs. Turner based her composition.
The southern naval aspect of that war is the least known, least publicized, and least studied of any part of the conflict, yet ultimately the CSA Navy inflicted as much, or more, damage on the north as did its armies. This book, when coupled with one on Raphael Semmes, will give the reader an entirely new view of the least known aspect of that war, which I have come to call "The Second War for American Independence."
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