Encyclopedia of Civil War Shipwrecks

By Redman, Rod | Sea Classics, November 2008 | Go to article overview

Encyclopedia of Civil War Shipwrecks


Redman, Rod, Sea Classics


ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CIVIL WAR SHIPWRECKS By W. Craig Gaines 232 Pages, Illustrated maps & photos. 8-in x 10.25-in, Hardback SBN: 978-0-8071-3274-6 - $35.95. Louisiana State University Press Baton Rouge, LA. 70808; www.lsu.edu/lsupress

Here's a book Civil War buffs and scholars will clamor over for it tidily brings the entire subject of what happened to the wreckage of lost Civil War ships into one comprehensive edition.

On the evening of 2 February, 1864, Confederate Commander John Taylor Wood led 250 sailors in two launches and twelve boats to-capture the USS Underwriter, a side-wheel steam gunboat anchored on the Neuse River near New Bern, North Carolina. During the ensuing 15-min battle, nine Union crewmen lost their lives, 20 were wounded, and 26 fell into enemy hands. Six Confederates were captured and several wounded as they stripped the vessel, set it ablaze, and blew it up while under fire from Union-held Fort Anderson. The thrilling story of USS Underwriter is one of many involving the numerous shipwrecks that occupy the waters of Civil War history. Many years in the making, W. Craig Gaines's Encyclopedia of Civil War Shipwrecks is the definitive account of more than 2,000 of these American Civil War-period sunken ships.

From Alabama's USS Althea, a Union steam tug lost while removing a Confederate torpedo in the Blakely River, to Wisconsin's Berlin City, a Union side-wheel steamer stranded in Oshkosh, Gaines provides detailed information about each vessel, including its final location, type, dimensions, tonnage, crew size, armament, origin, registry (Union, Confederate, United States, or other country), casualties, circumstances of loss, salvage operations, and the sources of his findings. …

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