Capital Navy is the first book to examine the importance of Confederate naval operations on the James River, and their significant (and yet largely ignored) impact on the war in Virginia. Dr. Coski’s study explores virtually every aspect of the Confederate naval presence, from the early war construction of the ironclad behemoths to the underappreciated wooden ships that fought alongside their more famous iron-plated sister ships--and every engagement and action in between.
Coski’s research is grounded in primary sources, including diaries, letters, journals, log books, and official records. His deep research allows him to paint a lively portrait of the men and ships that plied the twisting, muddy coils of the James River. His descriptions of the many fascinating personalties involved in this drama are richly drawn and deeply crafted, as are his renditions of the naval engagements (including Drewry’s Bluff and Trent’s Reach). It is impossible to fully understand how and why the war unfolded as it did in Virginia (and indeed, the Eastern Theater) without reading this book.
This exciting and groundbreaking study includes dozens of photos, illustrations, and thirteen original detailed drawings of all four James River ironclads. Capital Navy is a must for every Civil War and naval enthusiast.
John M. Coski received his Ph.D. from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and is the Librarian at The Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond. He is the author of numerous articles and books. John is married to Ruth Ann Spivey Coski, Coordinator of the White House of the Confederacy.