Week 4 & 5

Sea Change – Technology & the Navy


Learning Modules:

Technological Advancements in the Navy


Video: US Civil War Weapons and Tactics Civil War Technology Military Documentary Film (History Channel)


Video: Naval Technology in 4 minutes! Civil War Trust https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyX8mDz01n8

Symonds, Craig.  Civil War at Sea: Five Naval Battles that Shaped American History, (Oxford UP, 2009). 

Scanned Readings:

Collins, Robert. “Military Technology: The Confederate Floating Battery Revival During the American Civil War.” America’s Civil War Magazine. July 1996.

Still, William N. Jr. “Confederate Naval Strategy: The Ironclad.” The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 27, No.3 (AUG 1961), pp. 330-343.

Waters, W. Davis. “Deception is the Art of War: Gabriel J. Rains, Torpedo Specialist of the Confederacy.” The North Carolina Historical Review, Vol. 66, No. 1 (January 1989), pp. 29-60.

Cutliffe, Stephen. “Robert Fulton’s Torpedoes.” Technology and Culture, Vol. 51, No. 4 (OCT 2010), pp. 879-888.

Kelin, Albert. “Confederate Submarines,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 61. No. 3 (JUL 1953) pp.293-303.


Battle of Hampton Roads



Discussion Board:

  1. Those damnable iron machines! Discuss ironclads, their evolution and how ironclad mania consumed both the US and Confederate Navy.
  2. Hunley, Hunley, Hunley – everyone has watched a documentary, read a book or magazine article about it, but was the CSS Hunley the first? What about the US Navy?  Tell us about submarines and the Civil War.
  3. Obstructions in the river, and then torpedoes, what is a Navy to do? With any “new” technology, there are pros and cons.  Just like the landmines at Fort Fisher – they work great if they are connected.  Tell us about torpedoes, detonators on submarines, and the rise in naval technology.