Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Encyclopedia of Civil War Shipwrecks by W. Craig Gaines

Encyclopedia of Civil War Shipwrecks by W. Craig Gaines
Recently my local library got in a bunch of newer Civil War books, and I've been reviewing them lately. I'm not much of a naval buff but this looked interesting so I picked it up. This book turns out to be a wonderful resource on Civil War era shipwrecks. It includes ships that were lost because of battle, raiding and those that sank for no war related reason. This includes ships that faced bad weather, accidental ran aground or just suffered mechanical failure.
The listings are grouped by area lost, such as Bahamas, East Indies, Lake Erie, Mississippi River, Florida, and Oklahoma (in the Arkansas River). There even was a listing for Wisconsin. The Berlin City was "stranded on July 8, 1861, at Oshkosh." It was a 74 ton side wheel steamer built in 1856. Next time I'm in Oshkosh (I have quite a bit of family there) I'll have to head to the library and find a newspaper to learn the rest of the story.
At the back is an index to all the ships listed so if you were looking for a particular ship you could find the section it is mentioned in without previously knowing where it sank. The dust jacket says there are over 2000 ships referenced in this book.
I really like this book and wish I had the shelf space to add it to my own library. For now I'll have to be content with borrowing my county library's copy.

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