Damn the Torpedoes: Naval Incidents of the Civil War
by A. A. Hoehling
A.A. Hoehling is a first-rate historical storyteller and has chosen in this work a format admirably suiting his talents. His subjects include such familiar "incidents" as the duel of the "Monitoe' and the "Merrimack," the Union penetration of Mobile Bay, and the cruise of the "Alabama." More interesting for both the casual reader and the specialist are Hoehling's accounts of W.B. Cushing's sinking of the Confederate ram "Albemarle" with an improvised spar torpedo boat, remote ancestor of today's fast attack craft; and his gripping description of the engineering tour de force by which Union Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Bailey saved the gunboat flotilla that accompanied the ill-fated Red River Expedition of 1864. The career of the Confederate "submersible-H.L. Hunley" is a monument to the cold courage of the successive crews who "took her down" time after time despite her record as a man-killer. And from war's lighter side, Hoehling offers the tale of the Union steamer "Idahoe," which in 1863 received an unusual cargo: prostitutes expelled from the city of Nashville as a threat to the health and morals of the city's Union garrison. This work has no serious analytical pretensions. Nevertheless, Hoehling's anecdotes do more than many a scholarly account to establish the complex nature of the naval war. A chapter on ferryboats converted to gunboats highlights the need of shallow-draft craft for brown-water missions. Another discusses the loss of the ironclad "Indianole' during the Vicksburg campaign and shows how both Union and Confederate naval forces suffered when inexperienced commanders faced unusual situations. The concluding chapter, a first-person narrative of the cruise of the raider "C.S.S. Shenandoah," demonstrates the difficulties of waging a guerre de course with steamers.
# Hardcover: 207 pages
# Publisher: John F Blair Pub (October 1989)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 0895870738
# ISBN-13: 978-0895870735
# Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 9.5 x 1 inches
Condition: Used - Very Good
Condition comments: Hardcover in dust jacket with mylar cover. Ex-lib. edition in tight and very clean condition.