Blue & Gray Navies: The Civil War Afloat

Naval Institute Press
2
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A longtime military history professor at Virginia Military Institute and prolific author, Spencer Tucker examines the important roles played by the Union and Confederate navies during the Civil War. His book makes use of recent scholarship as well as official records and the memoirs of participants to provide a complete perspective for the general reader and enough detail to hold the interest of the specialist. Tucker opens with an overview of the U.S. Navy's history to 1861 and then closely examines the two navies at the beginning of the war, looking at the senior leadership, officers and personnel, organization, recruitment practices, training, facilities, and manufacturing resources. He discusses the acquisition of ships and the design and construction of new types, as well as ship armament and the development of naval ordnance, and North and South naval strategies. The book then takes a close look at the war itself, including the Union blockade of the Confederate Atlantic and Gulf coasts, riverine warfare in the Western theater, Confederate blockade running and commerce raiders, and the Union campaigns against New Orleans, Charleston, Vicksburg, and on the Red River. Tucker covers the major battles and technological innovations, and he evaluates the significance of the Union blockade and the demands it placed on Union resources. Fourteen maps and a glossary of terms help readers follow the text. Extensive endnotes provide additional material.
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About the author

Spencer C. Tucker is a professor of history and holds the John Biggs Chair of Military History at the Virginia Military Institute. A graduate of VMI, he served as a captain in Army Intelligence during 1965-1967. He lives in Lexington, VA.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Naval Institute Press
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Published on
May 11, 2013
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Pages
426
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ISBN
9781612513591
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Modern / 19th Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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WHY THE SOUTH LOST

What led to the downfall of the Confederacy? The distinguished professors of history represented in this volume examine the following crucial factors in the South’s defeat:

ECONOMIC—RICHARD N. CURRENT of the University of Wisconsin attributes the victory of the North to fundamental economic superiority so great that the civilian resources of the South were dissipated under the conditions of war.

MILITARY—T. HARRY WILLIAMS of Louisiana State University cites the deficiencies of Confederate strategy and military leadership, evaluating the influence on both sides of Baron Jomini, a 19th-century strategist who stressed position warfare and a rapid tactical offensive.

DIPLOMATIC—NORMAN A. GRAERNER of the University of Illinois holds that the basic reason England and France decided not to intervene on the side of the South was simply that to have done so would have violated the general principle of non-intervention to which they were committed.

SOCIAL—DAVID DONALD of Columbia University offers the intriguing thesis that an excess of Southern democracy killed the Confederacy. From the ordinary man in the ranks to Jefferson Davis himself, too much emphasis was placed on individual freedom and not enough on military discipline.

POLITICAL—DAVID M. POTTER of Stanford University suggests that the deficiencies of President Davis as a civil and military leader turner the balance, and that the South suffered from the lack of a second well-organized political party to force its leadership into competence.
" John D. Imboden is an important but often overlooked figure in Civil War history. With only limited militia training, the Virginia lawyer and politician rose to the rank of brigadier general in the Confederate Army and commanded the Shenandoah Valley District, which had been created for Stonewall Jackson. Imboden organized and led the Staunton Artillery in the capture of the U.S. arsenal at HarperÕs Ferry. He participated in the First Battle of Bull Run/Manassas and organized a cavalry command that fought alongside Stonewall Jackson in his Shenandoah Valley Campaign. The Jones/Imboden Raid into West Virginia cut the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and ravaged the Kanawha Valley petroleum fields. Imboden covered the Confederate withdrawal from Gettysburg and later led cavalry accompanying Jubal Early in his operations against Philip Sheridan in SheridanÕs Shenandoah Valley Campaign. Imboden completed his war service in command of Confederate prisons in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Spencer C. Tucker fully examines the life of this Confederate cavalry commander, including analysis of ImbodenÕs own post-war writing, and explores overlooked facets of his life, such as his involvement in the Confederate prison system, his later efforts to restore the economic life of his home state of Virginia by developing its natural resources, and his founding of the city of Damascus, which he hoped to make into a new iron and steel center. Spencer C. Tucker, John Biggs Professor of Military History at the Virginia Military Institute, is the author of Vietnam and the author or editor of several other books on military and naval history. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.
Winner, 2018 PEN/E.O. Wilson Prize for Literary Science Writing
Short-listed for the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize
A Top 10 Science Book of Fall 2017, Publishers Weekly
A Best History Book of 2017, The Guardian

"Warning: She spares no detail!" —Erik Larson, bestselling author of Dead Wake

In The Butchering Art, the historian Lindsey Fitzharris reveals the shocking world of nineteenth-century surgery and shows how it was transformed by advances made in germ theory and antiseptics between 1860 and 1875. She conjures up early operating theaters—no place for the squeamish—and surgeons, who, working before anesthesia, were lauded for their speed and brute strength. These pioneers knew that the aftermath of surgery was often more dangerous than patients’ afflictions, and they were baffled by the persistent infections that kept mortality rates stubbornly high. At a time when surgery couldn’t have been more hazardous, an unlikely figure stepped forward: a young, melancholy Quaker surgeon named Joseph Lister, who would solve the riddle and change the course of history.

Fitzharris dramatically reconstructs Lister’s career path to his audacious claim that germs were the source of all infection and could be countered by a sterilizing agent applied to wounds. She introduces us to Lister’s contemporaries—some of them brilliant, some outright criminal—and leads us through the grimy schools and squalid hospitals where they learned their art, the dead houses where they studied, and the cemeteries they ransacked for cadavers.

Eerie and illuminating, The Butchering Art celebrates the triumph of a visionary surgeon whose quest to unite science and medicine delivered us into the modern world.

Brave, energetic, intensely patriotic, Stephen Decatur is America's first great naval hero after John Paul Jones. His short and dramatic life is a story of triumph and tragedy told by the noted historian and author of some twenty books, Spencer Tucker. Decatur's raid into Tripoli Harbor in 1804 to burn the Philadelphia, a prized U.S. warship captured when it ran aground during the Barbary Wars, earned him international fame. An admiring Horatio Nelson described the feat as "the most bold and daring act of the age." Explaining the tremendous impact Decatur's action had on the early U.S. Navy, the author notes that it set a standard of audacity and courage for generations of future naval officers. At the age of twenty-five, Decatur was promoted to captain, becoming the youngest naval officer ever to attain that rank in the U.S. Navy. The book fully examines Decatur's astonishing achievements as it chronicles his rapid rise in the Navy, including his command of the Constitution and the United States, during the War of 1812, when he captured the British frigate Macedonian off the Azores. The book also recounts the cruise that many call his greatest triumph: Decatur sailed into the Mediterranean with a nine-ship American squadron to punish the dey of Algiers for taking American merchant shipping, securing peace with Algiers and keeping other Barbary states quiescent. Lionized by a grateful American public upon his return, Decatur offered a toast at a reception in his honor that is now legendary, "Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong!" In describing Decatur's life, the author also examines Decatur's relationshipwith James Barron, a Navy captain who fatally shot Decatur during a 1820 duel.
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