- ISBN/SKU: 9781591148555
- Binding: Hardcover
- Era: 19th Century
- Number of Pages: 352
- Subject: Civil War
- Date Available: May 2009
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The Union Navy played a vital role in winning the Civil War by blockading Confederate ports, cooperating with the Union Army in amphibious assaults, and controlling the Mississippi River and its tributaries. President Lincoln understood, however, that the Navy was not as important, militarily and politically, to the war effort as the Army, so he delegated authority to his Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, who divided the Navy into six squadrons and hand-picked their commanders. This book examines Welles' selections and why he appointed them.
“A dense and richly detailed narrative that is filled with vivid thumbnail sketches of the main actors in the drama. Stephen R. Taaffe tells a good story, has a dazzling command of the primary sources, and, in the end, produces a reasonable and balanced picture of naval contributions to the war for the Union. . . . Taaffe’s narrative is worth reading because of his focus on and insights into leadership and decision making. Commanding Lincoln’s Navycontributes much and joins the list of key texts on Civil war naval history and should be read by anyone interested in the study of leadership—military or civilian.”
— Pull Together, Spring/Summer 2011
“This is not a chronicle of the Civil War at sea and on the rivers. Instead it is a penetrating examination of the political and operational leadership of the Union Navy in the context of the major naval campaigns of the War. . . Overall, Taaffe has provided a detailed examination of the operational leadership of the Union Navy at war and how it responded to political direction. He has exposed a ‘senior leadership group’ which was by no means perfect, but which in the end got the job done. His descriptions of squadron commanders really do illustrate just how individual and imperfect we humans are and possibly equally important, how imperfection does not necessarily mean inability. This is a very useful book and it will reward careful reading.”
—Journal of the Australian Naval Institute, June 2011, Issue 140