Under Two Flags: The American Navy in the Civil War
https://www.amazon.com/Under-Two-Flags-American-Bluejacket/dp/1557502897Vividly written and well researched by a noted historian of theperiod, this succinct history credits the Union Navy as anessential element in the northern victory. Neither ponderous norhagiographic, the work presents characters and events that havebeen previously neglected and offers candid assessments ofofficers, men, and material. Originally published in 1990, when itwas a Military History Book Club selection, the work is considereda must for Civil War buffs. It is an authoritative and grippingstory of the battles waged.The author provides a rare look at the war fought by primitivenorthern gunboats drifting through Louisiana's muddy bayous, Yankeemerchantmen captured by rebel privateers at sea, and Unionironclads subduing hotly defended Southern forts. Nor does WilliamFowler neglect the subtler sparrings behind the scenes: WarSecretary Stanton and Navy Secretary Welles competing for Lincoln'sfavor and Welles's fierce duel of strategies with his Confederatecounterpart, Stephen Mallory. Finally, the author describes theastonishing transformation of the Navy itself from a ragtag fleetof aging steamers and paddleboats to one of the most powerfulwaterborne forces in the world.