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Winner of the 1999 John Lyman Book Award (NASOH) for best biography, this vivid, well-paced study illuminates the remarkable career of the Naval Academy's first superintendent and the Confederate Navy's first admiral. As the Confederacy's only full admiral, Buchanan commanded the ironclad Virginia in the battle of Hampton Roads and the Tennessee at Mobile Bay against Farragut. In examining the admiral's fifty-year naval career, the author chronicles his early experiences in a square-rigged frigate and later as the first American to set foot in Japan. Written by a leading naval historian, the book helps readers not only understand Buchanan, but also the broader issues of the period.
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.
Craig L. Symonds taught history at the U.S. Naval Academy for thirty years. He is the author or editor of 22 books including Decision at Sea: Five Naval Battles that Shaped American History (Oxford, 2005), which won the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Prize, and Lincoln and his Admirals: Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. Navy, and the Civil War (Oxford, 2008), which won the Barondess Prize, the Laney Prize, the Lyman Prize, and the Lincoln Prize for 2009.
More by this Author
THE NAVAL INSTITUTE HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE U.S. NAVY
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Noted for his eccentricities and blunt judgments, Gideon Welles proved to be a surprisingly adept... Read More
Events and Conferences
Naval History Symposium, U.S. Naval Academy Read More
9:00am, "Civil War at Sea" Symposium, U.S. Navy Memorial, 701 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.,... Read More
Craig Symonds delivers a very readable biography of Franklin Buchanan, a career sailor who accomplished many firsts for the United States Navy. Symonds writes in the book's retrospective "He was the first superintendent of the Naval Academy, the first to charge ashore at Tuxpan to capture the Mexican fort there, the first American official to set foot on Japanese soil, and the first naval officer to conn a U.S. warship up the Yangtze river." Unfortunately, history will probably best remember Buchanan as the only admiral of the Confederate States of America. Buchanan seems to have been one the more influential officers of the American navy prior to the Civil War. This book is a fantastic tribute to his service.