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If the acts be not described in words suited to portray their infamy, you have a lie instead of history.

The cruise of a ship is a biography. The ship becomes a personification. She not only   “Walks the waters like a thing of life,” but she speaks in moving accents to those capable of interpreting her. But her interpreter must be a seaman, and not a landsman. He must not only be a seaman, he must have made the identical cruise which he undertakes to describe. It will be seen, hence, that the career of the author was a sealed book to all but himself. A landsman could not even interpret his journals, written frequently in the hieroglyphics of the sea. A line, or a bare mark made by himself, which to other eyes would be meaningless would for him be fraught with the inspiration of whole pages… Memoirs of Service Afloat, During the War Between the States by Raphael Semmes from the preface

To the victor the spoils. The best book about naval life in the War for Southern Independence is Memoirs of Service Afloat, During the War Between the States by Raphael Semmes which is available in digital format without cost at the link provided. As with most other aspects of the war the poverty of the Confederacy was almost more than compensated for by their vigor and ingenuity but finally their defensive effort failed because they were opposed by and enemy who would stop at nothing – including starvation blockades – to see them defeated. What a proud memory it must be for the Porter and Farragut families to know that their ancestors helped to starve thousands, saw to it that more thousands went without medicine and introduced biological warfare by making marine health quarantines impossible.

Admiral David Glasgow Farragut : the Civil War years    Annapolis, Md. : Naval Institute Press, 1998 Chester G. Hearn United States History Civil War, 1861-1865 Naval operations, Farragut, David Glasgow, 1801-1870 Hardcover. 1st ed., and printing. xxi, 382 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

No union admiral in America’s Civil War fought with more distinction than David Glasgow Farragut, the first admiral of the U.S. Navy. Yet despite being considered by historians the most important American naval officer before World War II, no substantial biography of Farragut has been published in more than fifty years.  Historian Chester Hearn’s use of previously untapped family and archival records make this long-anticipated study  not only fully describe Farragut’s extraordinary naval exploits but also his lifelong involvement with Capt. David Porter, his foster father, and David Dixon Porter, his foster brother – making this the most complete and illuminating picture ever assembled of one of America’s greatest naval heroes.

Focusing primarily on the Civil War, Hearn uses recently discovered family correspondence to detail Farragut’s relationships with the elder Porter, who signed up Farragut as a seagoing midshipman in the U.S. Navy at the age of nine, and with Porter’s son, the only other full admiral to emerge from the Civil War. Under the senior Porter’s tutelage, Farragut by the age of thirteen had participated in more action during the War of 1812 than many of the Navy’s senior officers. Farragut’s legendary leadership is showcased in Hearn’s thrilling description of the Battle of Mobile Bay. The author’s detailed chronicle of Farragut’s command of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, crowned by the capture of New Orleans and Port Hudson, reestablishes Farragut’s nearly forgotten legacy.


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