Archive for the 'Civil War' Category

Aug 1

The 7 Best Beards in U.S. Naval History

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 12:01 AM

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Recently male sailors in the U.S. Navy are speaking out for equality within the ranks. The push was fueled when the Navy authorized women to wear more relaxed hairstyles such as ponytails. Men are not asking to grow their hair long, rather they are pushing for more relaxed grooming standards with regards to facial hair. The Navy has a long history of great beards, but was sadly ended in 1984. In honor of this valiant fight for hair equality I compiled a list of the seven best beards in U.S. Navy history.   7. Samuel Francis Du Pont Rear Admiral… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 28

Here’s How the French Created Military Aviation

Thursday, June 28, 2018 8:28 AM

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On June 26, 1794, the French army launched their military balloon, L’Entreprenant, for reconnaissance during the Battle of Fleurus — the first use of an aircraft for military purposes. The Committee of Public Safety approved the creation of the French Company of Aeronauts in 1794 and sponsored the development of the hydrogen that would be used to raise the craft. After much testing and experimentation with gases and structures, L’Entreprenant was born [1].   Following a brief debut during a bombardment on June 2, L’Entreprenant was used to report enemy movements during a conflict with Austrian forces [2]. At Fleurus, the balloon… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Apr 27

Death on the River

Thursday, April 27, 2017 4:48 PM

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Sultana at Helena, Arkansas, on April 26, 1865, a day before her destruction. She was cowded with about 2,222 people, a number that included 100 paying passengers (men, women, and children), a crew of 85, and 22 guards.

Today marks the 152nd anniversary of the explosion and sinking of the steamboat Sultana on the Mississippi River that claimed the lives of more than 1,800 recently-freed Union POWs packed on her decks for the voyage home — more than the number killed when the RMS Titanic sank in 1912. An excerpt from Noah Andre Trudeau’s 2009 Naval History article about the disaster is reprinted below. The full article may be viewed here.

 
Feb 16

Charleston’s Confederate Ironclad Attack

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 12:01 AM

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The CSS PALMETTO STATE slams into the Union blockader MERCEDITA  off Charleston Harbor. (The Civil War at Charleston)

Most students of Civil War naval history are familiar with the unsuccessful 7 April 1863 attack by Union ironclads at Charleston, South Carolina. Less well known is the attempt by a pair of Confederate ironclads to lift the U.S. Navy blockade of the city in the early hours of 31 January 1863. The Richmond-class ironclad rams Palmetto State and Chicora badly damaged four wooden blockaders before the Rebel ships were chased back to Charleston Harbor. Lieutenant William H. Parker, executive officer of the CSS Palmetto State, left a vivid account of that attack in his memoir, Recollections of a Naval Officer. Parker… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 4

Thomas Mandigo: From Slave to Seaman

Thursday, February 4, 2016 12:01 AM

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The gravestone of Thomas Mandigo, Sandy Hill A. M. E. Cemetery, Chester County, PA. Author's photo.

Tucked in the woods in the rolling foothills of Pennsylvania’s Welsh Mountains sits the tiny and largely forgotten Sandy Hill African Methodist Episcopal cemetery. A visitor to the rural graveyard is likely to be greeted first by the sound of clopping horses pulling Amish buggies along the rural highway. Taking a closer look, one will see several American flags marking the graves of veterans buried there. From there, one may see the stone of a sailor propped against a tree. It reads, THOMAS MANDIGO AGED 70 YEARS OF U. S. WAR SHIP LADOWNA The story of how Mandigo came to… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 18

Our Other Navy

Friday, December 18, 2015 12:01 AM

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The Confederacy has been much in the news—or at least its symbols have, with many Americans wishing to erase those symbols from sight and mind. Thus it may not be the best time to publish a book titled A Confederate Biography. Nevertheless, I was drawn to the subject as a great sea story, and through the course of my research, I discovered that it was much more than that: it is a real American tale, a significant slice of Civil War history, and a wonderful navy narrative—the Confederate navy, our other navy. The idea of biography was suggested by Admiral… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 26

The First Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 26, 2015 12:01 AM

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SMN Richard H. Hershberger (left) of Conton, Ohio, eats Thanksgiving dinner with Boatswain's Mate First Class Joseph E. Keating (rightt) of Quincy, Massachusetts, aboard the USS Boston on November 24, 1955. USNI Archives.

By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with His guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal victories over the enemy, who is of our own household. It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their camps and our sailors on the rivers and seas with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 25

The Conservation of Enfield Rifle Barrels from USS Tulip

Monday, March 25, 2013 9:32 AM

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The Naval History and Heritage Command’s (NHHC) Underwater Archaeology Branch (UAB) manages the Archaeology & Conservation Laboratory which is primarily tasked with the documentation, treatment, preservation, and curation of artifacts from US Navy sunken military craft. Artifact conservation is an integral part of any archaeological investigation and allows for the long-term study, interpretation, and preservation of irreplaceable submerged cultural resources. Recently, the Archaeology & Conservation Lab has been treating a group of Enfield rifle barrels from the wreck site of USS Tulip. Purchased by the Union Navy during the Civil War, Tulip, a steam-screw gunboat, joined the Potomac River Flotilla… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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