Although previously undervalued for their strategic impact because they 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.
by Bruce Catton
by James M. McPherson
by James E. Parker, Jr.
by James L. Haley
by James P. Duffy
by Roy E. Appleman, James Macgregor Burns, Russell A. Gugeler, John Stevens
"McPherson gives a straightforward but often exciting history of the naval side of the Civil War. Joe Barrett's delivery is soft-spoken and a little melancholy sounding, but his voice is likable and engaging, even over long periods. His pacing is good, his intonations fit the material well, and he's expressive without being showy--not accentuating, for instance, the sometimes horrific details of battle. While his choice of voices in which render quotations can seem arbitrary and his accents are sometimes weak, they do help indicate who is speaking; his Southern is better than his British. As with most audio military history, one feels the lack of maps, a problem of the medium. Still, this is an interesting, informative program. W.M. (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine"
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