James Hamilton Tomb (1839-1929) devoted almost 12 years to naval
service first in the Confederate States Navy during the American
Civil War and then in the Marinha do Brasil during the War of the
Triple Alliance. A steam engineer by profession and a torpedo expert
by circumstance, Tomb was in the forefront of naval weapons technology.
He also had the courage and capacity to assume positions of command.
His first assignment was first class engineer on the CSS Jackson
at New Orleans. Here, amid a tightening blockade and a growing fear
of Federal attack from the Gulf, Tomb's memoirs begin
Tomb's first Person narrative is interspersed with explanatory
comments from the editor, who also fills in Tomb's life at the
memoir's beginning and end. Three appendices include documents
by Tomb: "Submarines and Torpedo Boats, C.S.N.," written
in 1914, a detailed description of his experiences with the torpedo
boat David and the submarine H. L. Hunley, and "Reminiscences
of Torpedo Service in Charleston Harbor," 1877. A bibliography
and a wealth of rare photographs complete the work.