Admiral David Dixon Porter: the Civil War years

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Naval Institute Press, 1996 - History - 376 pages
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Nearly forgotten because his career and accomplishments have often been misinterpreted, David Dixon Porter takes his rightful place among the foremost naval heroes of the Civil War in this richly detailed, entertaining history. Porter rose faster through the ranks, commanded more men and ships, won more victories, and was awarded more congressional votes of thanks than any other officer in the U.S. Navy. His own postwar writings, however, were so flawed by an unquenchable ego, a thin skin, and a burning desire to vindicate his father, David Porter, a controversial naval hero in the War of 1812, that historians have neglected him.
Drawing on the correspondence and journals of Porter's allies and enemies, both military and political, as well as official documents and the admiral's own volume of papers, the noted naval writer Chester Hearn sets the record straight. This account brings to life the firebrand hero of New Orleans, Arkansas Post, Vicksburg, and Fort Fisher, whose unique tactics and techniques rank among the most imaginative and successful in naval history. On board Porter's flagship readers can witness daring, brilliant attacks against the punishing batteries at Vicksburg and Fort Fisher and the costly failures at Steele's Bayou and Red River. They can sit in on the critical strategy meetings with Sherman and Grant, and the thrilling chase up and down the coast of South America after Semmes on the CSS Sumter.
A talented fighter and colorful personality with a marvelous sense of humor, Porter earned respect and friendship from the likes of Lincoln, Grant, and Sherman, but drew the ire of political generals like Butler, Banks, and McClernand.

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About the author (1996)

CHESTER G. HEARN is the author of eighteen books, including Sorties into Hell: The Hidden War on Chichi Jima (Praeger, 2003) and Circuits in the Sea: The Men, the Ships, and the Atlantic Cable (Praeger, 2004). He has studied naval and maritime history for much of his life, and his works include histories and biographies stretching from the Revolution to Desert Storm.

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