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War on the Waters: The Union and Confederate Navies, 1861-1865 - Littlefield History of the Civil War Era (Hardback)
  • War on the Waters: The Union and Confederate Navies, 1861-1865 - Littlefield History of the Civil War Era (Hardback)

War on the Waters: The Union and Confederate Navies, 1861-1865 - Littlefield History of the Civil War Era (Hardback)

Hardback 288 Pages / Published: 30/09/2012
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Although previously undervalued for their strategic impact because the represented only a small percentage of total forces, the Union and Confederate navies were crucial to the outcome of the Civil War. In War on the Waters, James M. McPherson has crafted an enlightening, at times harrowing, and ultimately thrilling account of the war's naval campaigns and their military leaders.
McPherson recounts how the Union navy's blockade of the Confederate coast, leaky as a sieve in the war's early months, became increasingly effective as it choked off vital imports and exports. Meanwhile, the Confederate navy, dwarfed by its giant adversary, demonstrated daring and military innovation. Commerce raiders sank Union ships and drove the American merchant marine from the high seas. Southern ironclads sent several Union warships to the bottom, naval mines sank many more, and the Confederates deployed the world's first submarine to sink an enemy vessel. But in the end, it was the Union navy that won some of the war's most important strategic victories--as an essential partner to the army on the ground at Fort Donelson, Vicksburg, Port Hudson, Mobile Bay, and Fort Fisher, and all by itself at Port Royal, Fort Henry, New Orleans, and Memphis.

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807835883
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 558 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 24 mm
Edition: New edition

A welcome addition to the literature. Those new to this aspect of the Civil War will benefit from McPherson's masterful synthesis, while specialists will find his insights equally intriguing.--The Historian

[McPherson] successfully demonstrates the navy's importance to the Union victory in 1865." --H-Net Reviews

McPherson's gift is to place this naval scholarship in the larger context of the war. . . . He follows a chronological narrative which enables him to show the ebb and flow of success and failure that characterized the fortunes of both the Union and Confederate navies.--Canadian Journal of History

An outstanding survey by someone who brings to bear a grand knowledge of the complex social/political/military tapestry against which this tale unfolds. . . . An effective, eminently readable introduction to the subject, with good maps to boot.--United States Naval Institute

Readers of Battle Cry of Freedom well may wish to add this sequel to their bookshelf.--The Washington Times

A tremendous addition to Civil War literature, and McPherson has demonstrated his mastery of a new subject.--Sea History

Well-written. . . . A nice summary of the role that both navies played in the Civil War.--Arkansas Historical Quarterly

A concise naval history of the American Civil War.--Shipwreckology blog

The book is, quite simply, a superb synthesis. . . . [It is] eloquently written in a spare, direct style with clear and moving descriptions that bring both individuals and events to life.--International Journal of Maritime History

Should be read by anyone who enjoys lucid prose and should be in the library of any Civil War scholar, student, or enthusiast." --Louisiana History

[James McPherson is] the dean of Civil War historians.--Publishers Weekly

Recommended. General/public/undergraduate collections.--Choice

McPherson writes extremely well and is able to interweave political and diplomatic events into his tale. . . . An excellent one volume overview of the naval side of the Civil War, particularly valuable to those unfamiliar with this aspect of the conflict, and also useful for the more seasoned student of the war.--The NYMAS Review

Both the general reader and the experienced historian can equally enjoy. . . . This one should definitely be on your reading

Well-researched. . . . This important addition to scholarship on the naval aspects of the Civil War is recommended for academic audiences. With maps of several key battle sites clearly depicting ship and fort locations.--Library Journal

Anyone wishing to acquire an immediate grasp on the main narrative points of the Civil War at sea, while enjoying a masterful summation of past and current historical thinking, should read this book.--Daybook

[A] well-researched, dramatic story. . . . An exciting introductory read.--North Carolina Historical Review

As definitive as it is economical, [War on the Waters] establishes beyond question the decisive contributions of maritime power to Union victory.--Publishers Weekly starred review

A concise, fact-filled and exciting work in the Civil War's naval aspects. . . . Shows that the Civil War--a war of intense technological innovation on both seagoing sides--was won in large part by the Union Navy.--Tampa Bay Times

Maritime history at its best.--Journal of Southern History

In yet another elegant turn, historian James M. McPherson demonstrates his research and writing skills in this concise review of naval operations during the American Civil War. This volume comes as proof positive that McPherson is entitled to all the prizes and accolades he has won in the past.--Journal of America's Military Past

McPherson's accounts of set-piece battles--Farragut's assault on Mobile Bay, the duel between the Monitor and the Merrimack--are vivid. Much of this briny story is provided through the words of the participants, and the maps are excellent throughout.--Wall Street Journal Gift Guide 2012

McPherson displays his massive knowledge of the Civil War. . . . A solid contribution to Civil War scholarship.--Kirkus Reviews

An interesting, intelligent prose that is as easy to read as it is enjoyable.--TOCWOC: A Civil War Blog

A superb exploration of the role of the navy on both sides.--Sun News Miami

A sound collection-development investment.--Booklist

McPherson's erudite prose and intimate knowledge of his subject makes War on the Waters an invaluable reference for Civil War scholars and laymen alike.--Charleson Post and Courier

[McPherson] uses impeccable scholarship in the service of narratives that have appeal for the general reader.--Howell Raines, Washington Post

A comprehensive and compelling portrait of an oft-overlooked aspect.--Tennessee Libraries

McPherson has written a popular history that is both approachable and fairly thorough.--Library Journal

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