Conversations on the Civil War - 1864: The War at Sea

Dr. Craig L. Symonds is a retired professor of history at the United States Naval Academy and the author of The Civil War at Sea (Oxford University Press, New York, 2012) ) and numerous other books. He joins Dr. Edgar to talk about the navies on both sides of the conflict, the impact of emergent technologies, the effectiveness of the Union's ambitious strategy of blockading, the odyssey of Confederate commerce raiders, the role of naval forces on the western rivers, and the difficulty of conducting combined sea and ground operations against the major Southern port cities.

The presentation was recorded at the University of South Carolina’s Capstone Conference Center, in Columbia, on February 4, and was part of the series “Conversations on the Civil War, 1864,” presented in January and February, 2014. The series is sponsored by the USC College of Arts and Sciences.

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The War On The Coast | Walter Edgar's Journal
The War On The Coast | Walter Edgar's Journal

Audio

In this first segment on the war at sea, Dr. Craig L. Symonds outlines the war on the coast in four parts: the legality of the blockade, whether or not the blockade worked, how effective it was in...
Wits Versus Numbers | Walter Edgar's Journal
Wits Versus Numbers | Walter Edgar's Journal

Audio

In this segment, Walter Edgar and Dr. Symonds discuss some of the technological innovations the Confederacy used to try and combat the blockade. Some of these innovations include use of mines...
Confederate Sea Raiders | Walter Edgar's Journal
Confederate Sea Raiders | Walter Edgar's Journal

Audio

Another tactic the Confederacy used against the Union was deployment of “Sea Raiders,” or privateers, whose mission was to raid Union ships in an attempt to disrupt the North's economy. Dr. Symonds...
The Battle Of Mobile Bay | Walter Edgar's Journal
The Battle Of Mobile Bay | Walter Edgar's Journal

Audio

The Battle of Mobile Bay takes place during the 1864 election, which the Confederacy hoped to disrupt. Union Admiral David Farragut engaged Confederate Admiral Franklin Buchanan’s fleet, and scores...