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The Great Sea and River Battles & the Men Involved

U.S. Civil War Naval Ships, Men and Battles--Confederate and Union
A Part of My Civil War Weapons & Warfare Activity Page

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The Great Sea and River Battles & the Men Involved

from civil-war-navies.html

       The North and South waged war on the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, and the rivers of the mainland.  The naval war shaped the strategic and economic fortunes of the contending nations throughout the struggle.  The war also saw the first battle between ironclad ships, the introduction of sea mines and revolving gun turrets, and the first successful use of submarines changing the trajectory of naval warfare around the globe.


A . . . Great sea battles of the Civil War include ocean-going and inland river based.  The Gulf ports was the scene of many battles.  Choose a Navy battle from each area including ocean, inland-river, and Gulf and compile information on each.  Include date, geographical location, ships involved, naval commanders, details of how the battle went, and which side won.  You can make a computer presentation or poster to present your findings.  Go to Civil War Naval Battles List to see all in Chronological Order
B . . . Section One: The U.S. and Confederate Navies had great commanders.  Choose three of these commanders to compile biographical information (life story, Navy career details, rank), battles they were involved in, and anything special that is discovered in your research.  You can make a computer presentation or poster to present your findings.  Go to the "Civil War Hall of Fame" for both sides

Section Two:  Civil War sailors (and officers) were heroic, and often gave their life in battle, sickness or accidents.  During the testing of new ironclad technology, submarines and weapons, many lost their life.  Read about the testing of "two" new technologies and describe the dangers and doom of volunteering to be the test crews.  Choose ironclad ships and submarines as your two new technologies.  You can make a computer presentation or poster to present your findings.  Write an essay comparing these testing-sailors to the test-pilots of aircraft of our own modern age.  Read "The Invincible Ironclad" for a description of the ironclad and crew environment.     The C.S.S. Albemarle story will also provide like in the Confederate Navy, river detail.

C . . . Civil War soldiers and sailors left diaries and journals for their families, or anyone that would read them.  The U.S. Navy was fairly well integrated.  Black sailors were part of the crew equal to whites.  Robert Gould has left us an important diary of a black man in the Civil War Navy.  Read from this diary and write an essay telling of events in Gould's life that demonstrated life on a Civil War military ship.  Read from Robert Gould's Diary from the Stanford Website.  Read from the sections on his early life, life in the Navy, and life after the war.  There is also a section with images.  Gather facts from each section to include in a computer presentation or poster.  Robert Gould was a Contraband Slave in the U.S. Navy. Read about Contraband Slaves.   For more information go to Civil War Contraband Activity Site.
D . . . To learn of the mind-thought of Civil War sailors and officers, you will read about their special patriotism to the flag, how many southerners on-duty overseas on American ships chose to remain with their flag and fight for the Union.  Many sailors and officers got the Medal of Honor.  Read from the sites and write a series of essays on these subjects:  What is required to win the Medal of Honor;  Why a southern-born sailor would stay with the Union flag at the start of the war; what southern citizens thought of the crews of the river ironclads, and why did the sailors work in the terrible environments of the ironclads and submarines (smoke, noise, heat, lack of air, and imminent death. Read the information about the Monitor and Merrimack     Read the article about Civil War Navy life for more information.


Check the U.S. Navy Civil War Sesquicentennial Blog Site for a Series of Articles

You can record your answers in a Navy Form each part of the activity.

Return to the Ironclads Directions Page

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