Suggestions for Further Civil War Reading

By Craig L. Symonds

For the blockade, Robert Browning covers the history of the Union effort in two books: From Cape Charles to Cape Fear: The North Atlantic Blockading Squadron during the Civil War (University of Alabama Press, 1993), and Success Is All That Was Expected: The South Atlantic Blockading Squadron during the Civil War (Brassey’s, 2002). Stephen A. Wise covers the Southern side of the story in Lifeline of the Confederacy: Blockade Running during the Civil War (University of South Carolina Press, 1988).

For the war on the Western rivers, the best general study is still John D. Milligan, Gunboats Down the Mississippi (Naval Institute Press, 1949, reprint 1990). But see also the specialized campaign studies by B. Franklin Cooling— Forts Henry and Donelson: The Key to the Confederate Heartland (University of Tennessee Press, 1987)—and Chester Hearn— The Capture of New Orleans, 1862 (Louisiana State University Press, 1995). The best one-volume study of the Vicksburg campaign is by Michael Ballard: Vicksburg: The Campaign That Opened the Mississippi (University of North Carolina Press, 2004).


Craig L. Symonds taught history at the U.S. Naval Academy for thirty years. He is the author of ten books on naval and Civil War subjects, including Lincoln and His Admirals.

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