The riverine warfare on the Mississippi during the Civil War was an essential component of ultimate Union victory but frequently gets lost in general histories and even broader naval histories. The Mississippi system was vital for Southern commerce and also for penetrating into the Southern heartland. The Union began with two important advantages, for it possessed most of the shipbuilding and metallurgical industries, and its military leadership had keener eyes for strategy (Joiner gives Grant much well-deserved credit). Fighting on the heartland rivers continued after the capture of Vicksburg, but the Red River campaign was a sideshow, and Confederate guerrillas were no more than an annoyance. Clearly written and well researched, Joiner's sound study also offers a superior selection of photographs of the weird and wonderful craft that won the rivers for the Union. Green, Roland
Gary Joiner has greatly added to the historiography of Civil War naval history and has hopefully shed enough light on the subject to motivate other scholars to research the subject further. This book is worth reading by many audiences, including professional historians, Civil War buffs, naval history enthusiasts, and those interested in early examples of joint force operations. This book is also recommended for use by educators for classes dealing with the Civil War. (Daniel Sauerwein Civil War History
Historian Gary D. Joiner has crafted a clear, concise, and masterful narrative history of the decisive role played by the Mississippi Squadron in winning the Civil War in the West. One of the least studied aspects of the conflict, this illuminating story of the improvised Brown Water Navy and the intrepid Union sailors who experienced the war from the deck of a western river gunboat will enthrall the reader. (Stacy D. Allen, chief historian, Shiloh National Military Park)A growing number of historians claim that it was not Lincoln's generals who won the Civil War. Rather it was his admirals. The role of the United States Navy was the decisive factor in securing Union victory and nowhere was that more evident than on the inland waters where the ironclads, tinclads, and cottonclads of the 'Brown Water Navy' battled for control of the Mississippi River and its major tributaries. In stirring fashion Gary Joiner provides an overview of these heroic sailors and their unique vessels as they steamed and struggled their way into history at Fts. Henry and Donelson, Island No. 10, Memphis, Arkansas Post, Vicksburg, Grand Gulf, and in the Red River campaign. Their actions provided Lincoln with what he termed the 'key' to victory for their triumphs severed major Southern supply and communications lines, split the Confederacy in two, and effectively sealed the doom of Richmond. Long overdue, this work will broaden your understanding of these strategic waterways and the struggle waged for supremacy of these streams which determined the fate of a nation and its people.
(Terrence J. Winschel, historian, Vicksburg National Military Park, author of Triumph and Defeat, Vicksburg: Fall of the Confederate Gibraltar, and Vicksburg Is the Key)
Clearly written and well researched, Joiner’s sound study also offers a superior selection of photographs of the weird and wonderful craft that won the rivers for the Union. (Booklist
This is a worthy outing . . . [the book] deserves a sport on library shelves. . . . Recommended. (CHOICE
)Mr. Lincoln's Brown Water Navy
is the first comprehensive, academic account of the Civil War's western riverine action to appear in a generation. Given the tremendous influence the Mississippi Squadron had on the Civil War, the previous minor coverage in the historical literature is inexplicable. Now, Joiner gives us the solid, well researched, and well written account that gives the brown water navy its due. (Timothy B. Smith, author of Champion Hill: Decisive Battle for Vicksburg)
Joiner is at his best when he is discussing strategy and the sometimes stormy army-navy relationships. . . . This is an excellent short introduction to the often-neglected yet vitally-important naval war in the West. (The Journal Of Military History
)A good scholarly introduction to this neglected aspect of Civil War maritime history.
)This book is well-written, thoroughly researched, and complemented by outstanding maps and illustrations. . . . A well-rounded and thoroughly engaging book that serves as a fine introduction to the Civil War on the western waters.
(Civil War Book Review
)Excellent maps and pictures support Joiner's presentation . . . which is solidly researched and well written.
(The Journal of Southern History