A Brief Summary of some CSN achievements
and a listing of Ironclad ships with guns.
Note: This is part of a larger work of Confederate
Military History printed in 1899, the navy part written by
Capt. William Harwar Parker, CSN.
Conclusion (of chapter on CSN)
The Confederate States Ironclad Fleet
In this brief narrative it has been possible to
give only a
general idea of the services of the Confederate Navy.
We have seen that when the North made war upon the
Confederate States, the latter had actually no navy. Had
the same inequality existed on land, the war could not
have lasted a week! But incredible as it may appear, the
South in the four years' war constructed a fleet of iron-
clads equal to any in the world at that time.
This fleet comprised:
So much for the materiel. As for the personnel, Prof.
J. R. Soley (a northerner) testifies: "The personnel of the
Confederate Navy was distinguished by enterprise,
originality and resource, and to it were due some of the
most gallant episodes of the war."
The wonderful feats of the Confederate army have so
overshadowed the Confederate Navy that the present
generation may be surprised to read this tribute from the
pen of an enemy; but if any reader is inclined to doubt
the audacity, the skill, the enterprise, or the ingenuity of
the Confederate naval officers, let him recall the following
1. Buchanan in the Merrimac,
ramming the Cumberland;
and again in the Tennessee attacking, singlehanded,
three monitors and a fleet of fourteen heavily-armed
men of war.
2. The small gunboats at the battle of Hampton Roads.
3. Isaac Brown in the ram Arkansas.
4. J. W. Cooke in the little Albemarle.
5. J. Taylor Wood's capture of the Satellite, the Relance,
and the Underwriter.
6. Pelot's capture of the Waterwitch.
7. Glassell's torpedo attack on the New Ironsides.
8. Davidson's torpedo attack on the Minnesota.
9. Semmes' admirable management of the Alabama.
10. Maffitt's dash at Mobile and his after exploits.
11. Read in the Tacony, and his dash in the Webb.
12. Capt. John Wilkinson as a blockade-runner.
13. Brooke's design for the Merrimac and his rifle-gun.
14. Davidson's torpedo bureau.
15. Catesby Jones' cannon foundry.
16. Jackson's powder-mills.
17. Whittle's running the Nashville from Beaufort to
Georgetown, S. C.
And let it not be forgotten that the Southern
developed the two great offensive and defensive weapons,
the ram and torpedo.
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Copyright 2000, John E. Ellis, all rights reserved