American Civil War Navies

A Bibliography
Compiled by
Toby Barrett
(owner of Thoroughbred Models)

Numbers after each title represent degree of difficulty to find (1=Easy, new books 2=Been out for awhile, may be out of print , have a book store look it up for availability and special order 3=Out of print try a book finder 4=Most difficult-very rare or long out of print) 

CIVIL WAR IRONCLADS, Robert Macbride, 1962 (4) Good line drawings, but some data and history is in error.

BATTLES & LEADERS OF THE CIVIL WAR, 4 Vol set of both naval and army operations (3). There was a condensed one volume work out on this years ago, but I recommend the 4 volume set.

WARSHIPS OF THE CIVIL WAR NAVIES, By Paul Silverstone (2)

ARMS AND EQUIPMENT OF THE CIVIL WAR, Jack Coggins (3)

CONWAY’S ALL THE WORLD’S FIGHTING SHIPS, 1860-1905 (2)

TIME-LIFE BOOKS SERIES, THE CIVIL WAR - multi volume set (2)

ARTILLERY AND AMMUNITION OF THE CIVIL WAR, Warren Ripley (3) Everything one needs to know about ACWartillery, ammunition, carriages, mortars, etc. Lot of naval stuff.

WARSHIPS AND NAVAL BATTLES OF THE CIVIL WAR, Tony Gibbons (4) Nice work with color computer generated pictures mostly taken from photographs and prints. There are some errors on data and some ship renderings. Click here for Errata sheet.

THE COMPLETE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BATTLESHIPS, Tony Gibbons (4) One of my favorite books in my naval library. Very similar in layout to the above title by Gibbons and covers the same ACW . Just looking through it from time-to-time is a joy and an inspiration on all navies 1860 to the present.

THE PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR, 10 VOLS, Francis Trevelyan Miller (3) Primarily the volume on navy.

OFFICIAL RECORDS OF THE UNION AND THE CONFEDERATE NAVIES IN THE WAR OF THE REBELLION (2) Note: this work is supposedly coming out soon on CD-Rom.

THE OLD STEAM NAVY, VOLS 1 &II, Donald Canney (2) Published by Naval Institute Press - Well recommended. Mr. Canney has pulled a lot of drawings, photographs and information from the National Archives and other government agencies. Solely on Union navy.

LINCOLN’S NAVY, The ships, Men and Organization, 1861-65, Donald Canney (1)

THE CONFEDERATE NAVY, The Ships, Men and Organization, 1861-65, Dr. William Still , (1) Parallel work to the above listed title. Both by Naval Institute Press

CAPITAL NAVY, The Men, ships and operations of the James River Squadron John Coske (1) Some very good info and some very nice drawings. (Except I do have reservations about the CSS Texas drawing and its casement layout.)

STEAM, STEEL & SHELLFIRE, The Steam Warship 1815-1905, Conway’s History of the Ship Series, Naval Institute Press (2)

SEAMANSHIP IN THE AGE OF SAIL, John Harland, (2, fast becoming a 3), Excellent source on sails, rigging, history, shiphandling and terminology. Sailing men-of war 1600-1860 (And good enough for sailing ships and auxiliary steam ship rigs through the ACW) Well recommended.

THE CONFEDERATE NAVY, a Pictorial History, Philip Van Doren Stern (3) Large sized paperback edition may be easier to find.

The History of THE AMERICAN SAILING NAVY, The ships and Their Development, Howard I. Chapelle, (3, probably a 4) Many ACW union ships that carried sail..

HISTORY OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES NAVY, J. Thomas Scharf (2) Reprint of an old work. Good history and reading, crude drawings.

SHIPS VERSUS SHORE, Civil War Engagements Along Southern Shores and Rivers, Dave Page, (2) This is a very neat book on where to find ACW naval information, sites, and museums in every key state in the south today. Photos, drawings, and driving directions.


Errata
WARSHIPS AND NAVAL BATTLES OF THE CIVIL WAR
by Tony Gibbons

1.  Page 69 - Fredericksburg did have a rifle shield along the top deck in her plans, but the actual vessel never had one.

2. Page 97 - The vessel in the lower right is not Port Royal. Her sidewheels in her plans and as she was built were amidships versus aft as this drawing shows. Plus, she had a very prominent hurricane deck. I don’t know what vessel he depicts here, but it looks like a photo on record of USS Conemaugh.

3. Same page - No deck houses are shown on Paul Jones and photographic analysis shows them on the real one.

4. Page 10 - Wheel houses are far too prominent in this drawing.

5. Page 33 - There is a lot of minutia that does not stand up to plans and photo analysis, i.e., portholes, shape of conning tower, vent height, color of stack, forward beak arrangement etc… He does have the stern falling off correctly where others have it wrong.

6. Page 35 - CSS Neuse had gunports on her quarters. This was one of the most visible differences between her and the Albemarle.

7. Page 45 - Gibbon shows Tennessee with the First National versus the 2d National and shows it in the wrong place. Same page, Gibbon has given Atlanta another gunport on her port side - she only had three on that side.

8. Page 51 - Upper right drawing is not Charleston! It should be listed as the Georgia. CSS Charleston was much different according to her plans, and to artist paintings of her sitting in charleston harbor. Same page, Chicora & Palmetto State each had another broadside gunport for a total of three. Gibbon shows them with only two.

9. Page 55 - Unless Gibbon has something the North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Department doesn’t have, the drawing of Raleigh is an artist’s rendering only and should not represent the vessel. There is no known accurate configuration in either plan, drawing, sketch, or photo of Raleigh or North Carolina.

10. Same page - CSS Arkansas had perpendicular sides (90 degrees to the water) according to her Captain’s written record. His story is in Battle and Leaders of the Civil War. Gibbon shows them slanted and makes the same error that others before him made.

11. Page 61 - CSS Jackson had broadside gunports. Gibbon has left them off and also gave her the wrong flag. Jackson was only floated near the end of the war and could only have flown the 2d National or the 3rd.