Encyclopedia of Civil War Shipwrecks

October 30, 2020
Encyclopedia of Civil War Shipwrecks

On the evening of February 2, 1864, Confederate Commander JohnTaylor Wood led 250 sailors in two launches and twelve boats tocapture the USS Underwriter, a side-wheel steam gunboat anchored onthe Neuse River near New Bern, North Carolina. During the ensuingfifteen-minute battle, nine Union crewmen lost their lives, twentywere wounded, and twenty-six fell into enemy hands. SixConfederates were captured and several wounded as they stripped thevessel, set it ablaze, and blew it up while under fire fromUnion-held Fort Anderson. The thrilling story of USS Underwriter isone of many involving the numerous shipwrecks that occupy thewaters of Civil War history.Many years in the making, W. Craig Gaines's Encyclopedia ofCivil War Shipwrecks is the definitive account of more than 2,000of these American Civil War–period sunken ships. From Alabama's USSAlthea, a Union steam tug lost while removing a Confederate torpedoin the Blakely River, to Wisconsin's Berlin City, a Unionside-wheel steamer stranded in Oshkosh, Gaines provides detailedinformation about each vessel, including its final location, type,dimensions, tonnage, crew size, armament, origin, registry (Union,Confederate, United States, or other country), casualties,circumstances of loss, salvage operations, and the sources of hisfindings. Organized alphabetically by geographical location (state,country, or body of water), the book also includes a number of mapsproviding the approximate locations of many of the wrecks—rangingfrom the Americas to Europe, the Arctic Ocean, and the IndianOcean. Also noted are more than forty shipwrecks whose locationsare in question.Since the 1960s, the underwater access afforded by SCUBA gearhas allowed divers, historians, treasure hunters, andarchaeologists to discover and explore many of the American CivilWar-related shipwrecks. In a remarkable feat of historicaldetective work, Gaines scoured countless sources—from governmentand official records to sports diver and treasure-huntingmagazines—and cross-indexes his compilation by each vessel'svarious names and nicknames throughout its career. An essentialreference work for Civil War scholars and buffs, archaeologists,divers, and aficionados of naval history, Encyclopedia of Civil WarShipwrecks revives and preserves for posterity the little-knownstories of these intriguing historical artifacts.https://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Civil-Shipwrecks-Craig-Gaines/dp/0807132748