Civil War 150 Navies

For many the Civil War conjures up images of brilliant army officers engaged in epic battles fought on land, but naval strategies and the men who dispatched them played crucial roles in the conflict. Naval warfare took on a global aspect when Britain provided the Confederacy with ships and sailors. Many Confederate Navy commerce raiders preyed upon Northern merchant vessels, thereby disrupting the Union’s economy. The U.S. Navy launched a blockade strategy to deter Confederate trade ships that continued to import supplies from Britain and export their cotton to British manufacturers. The U.S. Navy systematically captured Confederate ports; in many regards, the capture of Fort Fisher and the resulting closure of Port Wilmington in early 1865 signaled the end for Confederate forces. This section displays objects from the men and ships that fought the war on water.