Articles Featured with Emerging Civil War

"Weaponizing Children's Education During the U.S. Civil War," June 2024.

Learn how both the United States and the Confederacy worked to weaponize the education of children during the U.S. Civil War.

"Our National Cemeteries: Contrasting National and Local cemeteries at Camp Parapet in Greater New Orleans," May 2024.

Commemorate Memorial Day by looking at a Civil War era cemetery originally used for wartime veterans of America's most defining event.

"Down the Rabbit Hole: Hunting an Original Letter," May 2024.

Dive down the rabbit hole and explore how historians track down the primary sources that make their research credible and interesting.

"Book Review: Texas Coastal Defense in the Civil War," May 2024.

Explore William Nelson Fox's latest book about Texas and the military and naval campaigns to control the Lone Star State's coastline.

"Cruising Down the Mississippi at Night," April 2024.

Take a tour down the Mississippi River from New Orleans to the river's delta, exploring the Civil War ear related sites along the way ... just as naval forces would have seen them during the conflict.

"Book Review: Thunder in the Harbor: Fort Sumter and the Civil War," April 2024.

Explore Richard hatcher's latest book about Fort Sumter, where the US Civil War began and where the Confederacy symbolically resisted US control for four years.

"Released and Now Available: Treasure and Empire in the Civil War," March 2024.

Check out some information about the release of my book Treasure and Empire in the Civil War: The Panama Route, the West and the Campaigns to Control America's Mineral Wealth.

"Secession on the Ballot This Week ... Almost," March 2024.

The 2024 Texas Republican Primary ballot almost included a vote on secession preferences. Unpack their argument, how Texas has previously been involved in secession arguments, and how such talk today must include significant context from the U.S. Civil War.

"Cap-Haïtien: Lincoln's Forgotten Foreign Operating Naval Base," February 2024.

Explore how Abraham Lincoln's navy used an obscure port in Haiti to keep their west India Squadron supplied and operating.

Tensions in Reconstruction Mardi Gras Celebrations," February 2024.

Explore how post-Civil War Reconstruction impacted Mardi Gras celebrations in both New Orleans and across the southern United States.

"When Portugal Bombarded a U.S. Warship to Protect a Confederate Ironclad," January 2024.

Explore the January 1865 incident where Belem Tower, in Lisbon, Portugal, opened fire on USS Niagara in accordance with international customs to protect the Confederate ironclad Stonewall.

"Book Review: Bayou Battles for Vicksburg: The Swamp and River Expeditions, January 1-April 30, 1863," January 2024.

Explore Tim Smith's latest examination on the Vicksburg campaigns, this one focusing on Grant's numerous actions in early 1863 in the Mississippi Delta.

"Neil Chatelain: Thankful For," December 2023.

I am greatly thankful for the guidance, mentorship, and friendship of Gary McQuarrie, managing editor of Civil War Navy - The Magazine.

"A View from Above the Clouds," November 2023.

Explore how soldiers battling atop Lookout Mountain must have experienced the famed 'Battle above the Clouds.'

"Finding Emerging Scholars and Scholarship Through Civil War Era Dissertations," November 2023.

Explore how the most recent scholarship in the Civil War era can be found inside the ongoing dissertations of graduate students.

"Civil War Art: Fort Fisher Watercolors of John W. Grattan," October 2023.

Explore the Second Battle of Fort Fisher through the writings and art of Acting Ensign John W. Grattan, USN.

"Book Review: Shipwrecked: A True Civil War Story of Mutinies, Jailbreaks, Blockade-Running, and the Slave Trade," October 2023.

Explore the flawed life of Appleton Oaksmith, who was a northerner convicted of participating in the slave trade and ended up blockade running for the Confederacy.

"Civil War Encounters Touring the West: Part Five - Fort Klamath, Oregon." September 2023.

Near Crater Lake National Park in Oregon lies the Fort Klamath historic site. Check out some Civil War era history related to Oregon!

"Civil War Encounters Touring the West: Part Four - Fort Bragg ... California." September 2023.

The city of Fort Bragg, California is well known for its glass beach. As the town's name implies however, it also has a large amount of Civil War related history when considering its location in northern California.

"Civil War Encounters Touring the West: Part Three - Rebel Prisoners on Alcatraz Island." September 2023.

Alcatraz Island is known for its Federal prison. During the Civil War, it was also a fort defending San Francisco Bay. It also served as a temporary prison for rebels captured in the Pacific and Latin America.

"Civil War Encounters Touring the West: Part Two - Confederate Army Activity in Nevada?" September 2023.

Explore Virginia City, Nevada. Known for its Civil War era mining and for writer Mark Twain, the Confederacy also briefly attempted to send an agent there to recruit Southerners.

"Civil War Encounters Touring the West: Part One - Utah's Civil War Monument," September 2023.

Explore the only Civil War monument in Utah, the only monument from that conflict that bears all the names of volunteers from one state or territory.

"Book Review: Black Sailors in the Civil War: A History of Fugitives, Freemen and Freedmen Aboard Union Vessels,"  August 2023.

Explore my review of James H. Bruns's Black Sailors in the Civil War: A History of Fugitives, Freemen and Freedmen Aboard Union Vessels.

"The Moments Before A Sudden Enemy River Assault", August 2023.

In mid-1862, an errant cow tricked an entire river fleet into thinking the enemy was launching a combined naval and military assault against their position. Learn how the fog of war impacts Civil War naval activity.

"Naval Witnesses to the July 18, 1863, Battery Wagner Assault", July 2023.

On July 18, 1863, the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment led an assault against Battery Wagner in Charleston. That attack (with the other summer fights at Milliken's Bend and Port Hudson) showed that African Americans would fiercly fight in the US Civil War. This examines that attack through the overlooked viewpoint of the US Navy sailors witnessing the charge.

"ECW Weekender: Fort Warren", July 2023.

I recently took a trip to Fort Warren, in Boston. Check out the facilities and history of this historic site.

"Book Review: The Civil War Abroad: How the Great American War Reached Overseas", June 2023.

Explore my review of Charles Priestly's book The Civil War Abroad: How the Great American Conflict Reached Overseas.

"Commanding the Regiment - Navy Edition: Lieutenant Thomas B. Huger, CSS McRae", June 2023.

Explore a little about Lt. Thomas B. Huger, CSN. He resigned early in the secession crisis from the United States Navy and commanded one of the Confederacy's first warships until killed in battle in 1862.

"Colonel Freemantle Attends an Auction of Enslaved Persons", June 2023.

In June 1863, British Lt. Col. Arthur Freemantle was a foreign military observer travelling through the Confederacy. Explore his thoughts and reactions at witnessing an auction of enslaved persons in Charleston, South Carolina.

"ECW Weekender: Bullock Texas State History Museum", June 2023.

Explore a mini-virtual tour of the Civil War era elements of the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, TX.

"Comparing US and CS Service Branch Antebellum Experience", May 2023.

Statistics are great and can offer a new light into a subject. This examines just how many USN and CSN officers had antebellum experience in the USN, comparing that to the number of USA and CSA general officers who also held antebellum military experience.

"Civil War Surprises: Santiago Vidaurri's Tempting Offer", April 2023.

In 1861, Mexican Governor Santiago Vidaurri made the offer to a Confederate agent to annex greater Nuevo Leon to the Confederacy. The offer was quite the surprise and Jefferson Davis refused, though the surprise offer highlights the complexities of Confederate diplomatic activity in its first year.

"The Other Captain Semmes in Louisiana's Bayou Country", April 2023.

160 years ago Captain Oliver J. Semmes briefly commanded a war steamer on Bayou Teche. The job ran in the family, as his father was Confederate Rear Admiral Raphael Semmes! 

"Deconstructing Common Misconceptions of the April 1863 Fort Sumter Ironclad Assault", April 2023.

160 years ago the US Navy failed to capture Charleston, SC by ironclad assault. The planning, battle, and response were much more complex than most realize. Dive in and see some of the engagement's greater complexities and misconceptions.

"USS Chancellorsville's Name Change and the US Navy's History of Confederate-Named Vessels", March 2023.

The US Navy announced in February 2023 it was renaming USS Chancellorsville to USS Robert Smalls. Here is a little context on why.

"Civil War Weather: How African Winds and Yellowstone Snows Impact Mississippi River Valley Civil War Sites", February 2023.

Exploration of how the Mississippi River Valley's Civil War sites have been impacted by weather events ranging from annual snowfall melts to hurricanes.

"Matrimonials: Civil War Era Love and Distance Matchmaking", February 2023.

The New York Herald was packed with Matrimonial advertisements in the Civil War. These ads were to attract spouses, find comfort, or to scam the unknowing. Dive into how people found love from a distance amid the US Civil War.

"Confederate Legislators Debated Secession ... From the Confederacy", January 2023.

Examination of how members of the provisional and regular Confederate Congress debated adding provisions to the Confederate Constitution to formally codify the right of a state to secede from the Confederacy.

"Nat Turner, Elephants, and Some Interesting Cases of Rebranded Civil War Era Imagery", January 2023.

Newspapers of the Civil War era relied on drawn imagery. Often these images were repurposed, sometimes to reinforce the original message in a new way and sometimes to rebrand the image to a new purpose.

"The US Marine Corps' Greatest Defeat ... and Greatest Defiant Act in the Civil War", December 2022.

On December 7, 1862, 140 US Marines surrendered on the civilian steamer Ariel to CSS Alabama. It was the largest Civil War era mass-surrender of the USMC, but also contained a major act of defiance that characterizes the culture and espirit-de-corps of US Marines.

"Reality vs. Myth Regarding Abraham Lincoln's War Elephants", November 2022.

In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln received a letter offering to send Thai elephants to the United States. Dive into the reality and the mythology surrounding these elephants, whom many ranging from politicians to Hollywood believe were intended to be war elephants to crush the Confederacy.

"Repurposing Captured Enemy Vessels Part 4: Star of the West", October 2022.

During the US Civil War, both sides captured enemy vessels and repurposed them for use. This article in a small series explores the steamer Star of the West.

"Repurposing Captured Enemy Vessels Part 3: US Vessels Flying the Confederate Flag", October 2022.

During the US Civil War, both sides captured enemy vessels and repurposed them for use. This article in a small series explores three US vessels captured and later used by the Confederacy.

"Repurposing Captured Enemy Vessels Part 2: Confederate Wooden Vessels Flying the US Flag", October 2022.

During the US Civil War, both sides captured enemy vessels and repurposed them for use. This article in a small series explores three Confederate wooden vessels captured by the United States and commissioned into the US Navy afterwards.

"Repurposing Captured Enemy Vessels Part 1: Confederate Ironclads Flying the US Flag", October 2022.

During the US Civil War, both sides captured enemy vessels and repurposed them for use. This article in a small series explores three Confederate ironclad warships captured by the United States and commissioned into the US Navy afterwards.

"Civil War Medicine: Andrew Henderson, John Pope, and a Challenging Medical Decision at Sea", September 2022.

Mental health among military and naval commanders is often pushed aside because of operational commitments. Here is one case where a medical officer recommended the relief of his commanding officer for the sake of that officer's mental well-being.

"Loyalty in a Lighthouse on the Confederacy's Fringe", August 2022.

Loyalty can be complicated in the Civil War, especially if you are stuck along the coast isolated from the conflict's major events and locations. Explore how one lighthouse keeper at the Mississippi River's delta managed shifting loyalties as the war escalated.

"Reflections from the Mule Shoe", August 2022.

Some reflections I had while walking the battlefield at Spotsylvania Court House in 2022 where I think back to a previous trip there in 2006.

"Shellbacks, Polliwogs, and Crossing the Equator Amid Civil War", July 2022.

For centuries, sailors have celebrated crossing the equator as an important career milestone. Learn how that celebration was made during the US Civil War.

"Unexpected London Run-In with President Lincoln", July 2022.

While visiting London, I found a statue of Abraham Lincoln in the center of British government institutional power. Learn about the statue and how it got there.

"Unpublished: A Trio of Favorite Unpublished Primary Sources from the Civil War and Beyond", June 2022.

Examination of three of my favorite unpublished primary sources, one from the Civil War, one about my family's history, and one I love using with students in my classes.

"A Newly Uncovered Letter in the Most Ungentlemanly Porter-Miller Exchange", June 2022.

A new letter in the William D. Porter-Marshall J. Miller naval feud of 1862 is uncovered... and it packs a punch.

"Symposium Spotlight: Goals of the Confederacy's European-Built Ironclad Fleet", May 2022.

Exploration on how the Confederacy's leadership wanted to use European-built ironclads to recapture New Orleans, Louisiana.

"Blockade, Privateering, and the 1856 Declaration of Paris", May 2022.

Examination of the 1856 Declaration of Paris for Maritime Law and its impact on privateering, blockading, and blockade running operations of the US Civil War.

"George N. Hollins' Fall From Grace", April 2022.

Examination of the rise and fall from grace of navy Captain George N. Hollins, commander of the Confederacy's Mississippi River Squadron.

"On the March to Sailor's Creek with Tucker's Naval Battalion", April 2022.

Exploration of how Captain John R. Tucker's naval battalion handled a field march at the end of the Civil War.

"The First Draft of Naval History: USS Minnesota's Deck Log and the Battle of Hampton Roads", March 2022.

Exploration of the role of USS Minnesota in the 1862 battle of Hampton Roads as shown through that vessel's deck log.

"The Invasion of Ukraine and the U.S. Civil War: Comparative Watersheds in Portraying War", March 2022.

Exploration of how the U.S. Civil War and the Russian invasion of Ukraine act as watershed moments in how people gather information about war and about how war is portrayed to the public at large.

"Symposium Spotlight: Ambitions and Challenges of a Confederate Navy European Ironclad Squadron", February 2022.

Introduction to my presentation topic for the 2022 Emerging Civil War Symposium. My presentation will explore attempts by the Confederacy to build an ironclad fleet in Europe, as well as its potential impact on the U.S. blockade.

"Attrition Rates of City-Class Ironclads", February 2022.

Examination of the U.S. Navy's city-class ironclads, their operations on the Mississippi River, and their overall effectiveness and attrition rates.

"Memorials and Memory on a French Quarter Dog Walk", January 2022.

Examination of the monuments, placards, and memory of the Civil War in the French Quarter, as experienced by myself and my dog Mouton on a dog walk.

"Holiday Village Reenactments and Reflections",
December 2021.

Examination of numerous aspects of the Civil War that made me interested in the conflict as a child, as well as how I represent those aspects in my annual holiday village display.

"The Trent Affair's Diplomatic Winners and Losers", November 2021.

Examination of the Trent Affair on its 160th anniversary, including its naval aspects, its diplomatic implications, and its ultimate winners and losers.

"Under Fire: First Ironclad Shots at the Head of Passes", October 2021.

Examination of the Battle of the Head of Passes on its 160th anniversary, including a look at the Confederate ironclad Manassas, the first armored warship in North America.

"Purge of the Second Louisiana Native Guards",
September 2021.

Examination of the purge of African American military officers from the Second Louisiana Native Guards Regiment in 1863.

"Unexpected Challenges of California Officers Going East by Sea in 1861", August 2021.

Examination of how U.S. military officers stationed in California often improvised defenses on Panama Route steamers while travelling east to join major field armies in 1861.

"The Persistence of the Mardi Gras Spirit in Civil War New Orleans", February 2021.

Examination of the Mardi Gras holiday during the Civil War, efforts by citizens to rejuvenate it after the conflict's conclusion, and a look at how the memory of the Civil War has impacted modern Mardi Gras traditions and activities.

"A Most Peculiar Target of Naval Gunnery", July 2020.

Examination of a chance encounter of USS Rhode Island with a waterspout in the Caribbean Sea in 1863, including how the warship ultimately fired on the phenomenon in an effort to avoid it.

"Tracking the Lost Silver of the Benjamin F. Hoxie", September 2019.

Examination of the Confederate commerce raider Florida's capture of the Benjamin F. Hoxie, as well as a look at the seizure and transportation of silver seized from the captured ship.

"The Confederate Navy's Order of Battle at New Orleans: A Reflection of Political Tensions", March 2019.

Examination of the numerous naval and military organization the Confederacy operated at New Orleans in 1862, as well as their impact in the campaign to control that city.

"Beyond the 13th Amendment: Ending Slavery in the Indian Territory", July 2018.

Examination of efforts by the United States to implement Reconstruction policies into the Indian Territory, including formally ending of the system of African enslavement there.

"Sailors, Diplomats, Tycoons and the Campaign to Control California's Gold in the Civil War", August 2017


Examination of the naval conflict to control the Panama Route, the transportation network moving bullion from California to New York by sea in the Civil War.

"Archibald Wilson's Infernal Submarine Armor", July 2017

Reprinted in Civil War Navy, Vol. 8, No.4, Spring 2021, 59-61.


Examination of prototype submersible armor proposed Confederate Navy Boatswain Archibald Wilson.