5 thoughts on “War on the Waters

  1. This was my Mother’s Day gift from my spouse, and boats are HIS thing. I thought, Psssh. RIGHT. But since I strive to be a scholar of the American Civil War and the navy is about the only stone (as opposed to gravel, metaphorically) that I’ve left unturned, I started in. No, I FELL in.

    First of all, it has to be recognized that McPherson is undeniably the USA’s #1 living Civil War scholar. His status as professor emeritus at Princeton has been well earned. When he decides to delve into some aspec

  2. While short, 220 pages, this a very good overview of naval operations in the civil war on both sides. Dr Mc Pherson does his usual excellent job of giving us a very readable history.
    The book covers the ebb and flow of the war on the waters – not just the blue water navy, but the war on the rivers also. He breaks it down to 5 different phases. Dr. McPherson weaves a good tale on the problems the Union Navy had with unreasonable expectations that the public developed from their early successes at

  3. James McPherson’s “War on the Waters: The Union and Confederate Navies, 1861-1865” is a thorough, well-written, and short (only 226 pages of text) history of the maritime and riverine operations of the Federal and Rebel navies during the Civil War. McPherson does his usual excellent job in elucidating the key strategic importance of naval contributions to Union victory and Confederate defeat. He does honor to the sacrifices of sailors on both sides. One fascinating aspect of the story is the rol

  4. There is no argument that the naval contributions to the American Civil War are largely ignored in the realm of Civil War academia. The few volumes which contribute to these discussions are often times narrowly focused and tend to feel constrained by their own subject matter. In James M. McPherson’s War on the Waters, that feeling is overcome by the complete treatment which the author gives his subject. In this one book, McPherson gives us a look into the world of both the Union and Confederate

  5. A typically fascinating account from one of the foremost historians of the period. Provides a welcome and highly accessible narrative illuminating one of the most overlooked aspects of the American Civil War.

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