CONFEDERATE NAVAL HISTORY

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In 1861, as the flames of war were being fanned throughout the nation, a young midshipman resigned from the United States Navy and made his way south to Montgomery, Alabama. There, he offered his services to the new Confederate States of America. Charles W. Read, in the next four years, compiled a record of ingenuity and daring unsurpassed in the annals of American naval history. A native of Mississippi, Read was first assigned to the CSS McRae at New Orleans where he took command of the warship after its captain was mortally wounded at the Battle of New Orleans. He next saw action on the ironclad CSS Arkansas as it fought its way through two Federal fleets on the Mississippi River. Later, Read served on the cruiser CSS Florida.

Converting one of their captured vessels into a raider, he proceeded to spread fear and consternation along the eastern seaboard of the United States by capturing and burning 21 enemy merchant vessels. Taken prisoner and confined at Fort Warren, from which he escaped but was later recaptured, Read was finally exchanged during the waning days of the war. He then commanded a squadron of torpedo boats on the James River south of Richmond. Refusing to recognize defeat, he next led a daring overland expedition around Grant's army at Petersburg, and then attempted a desperate dash down the Mississippi and to the Gulf of Mexico with the CSS Webb.

Sea Hawk of the Confederacy,
Lt. Charles W. Read and the Confederate Navy

R. Thomas Campbell,
ISBN 1-57249-178-7
White Mane Publishing Co., Inc., Dec., 1999
List Price: $29.95
Discount Price: $22.95

Chapter 1. The Gathering Storm
Chapter 2. The McRae
Chapter 3. The Arkansas
Chapter 4. The Florida
Chapter 5. The Clarence/Tacony/Archer
Chapter 6. Fort Warren
Chapter 7. Battery Wood and Trent's Reach
Chapter 8. Overland
Chapter 9. The Webb
Chapter 10. The Later Years

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