Gray Thunder: Exploits of the Confederate States Navy

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9780942597998: Gray Thunder: Exploits of the Confederate States Navy

Gray Thunder is the fascinating story of the Confederate navy as it struggled against a well equipped and relentless foe. The South's navy and its contribution to the Confederate war effort has been largely ignored in the history of the war. Gray Thunder fills this void. Using selected exploits, including extensive quotes from those who were there, the author tells the exciting story of the Confederate navy and its courageous battle, with insufficient resources, against unbelievable odds.

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Readable if somewhat anecdotal, this history of the Confederate navy fills a useful gap, for only comprehensive general histories of Civil War naval activities do justice to the Confederacy's efforts to build a navy without having an industrial base--a feat comparable to making bricks without clay--and such books are few. Campbell covers, popularly but soundly, the high points of the Confederacy's various nautical undertakings: building ironclads to break the Union blockade or defend its harbors, running the blockade, and harassing Union merchant ships with a series of successful commerce raiders. Campbell's research is admirably up to date, including even the 1995 discovery of the remains of the CSS H. L. Hunley, the world's first successful submarine, off the mouth of the Charleston, S.C., harbor. What he has made of that research is a good addition to Civil War collections of just about any sort. Roland Green

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R. Thomas Campbell
Published by Burd Street Press (1996)
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