A BRIEF COMPENDIUM
HISTORY OF MARYLAND SAILORS AND MARINES,
CIVIL WAR, 1861-5.
HE History of the U. S. Navy during the Civil War demonstrated the
wonderful genius of our people in energy and inventive skill in improvis-
ing and building war vessels. In courage, intelligence and vigilance in
handling them and a bravery and dash by both officers and seamen that
has never been excelled.
At the commencement of the Civil War in the early spring of 1861,
the U. S. Government had at its disposal sixty-nine (69) vessels of war, of
which twenty-seven (27) were laid up for repairs.
Of the forty two (42) vessels in commission twenty-six (26) were absent on duty in
foreign lands, long months elapsed before they could be rendered available, many of them
were sailing vessels, old-fashioned frigates, beautiful to behold, but almost useless on the day
when steam had become known as the propelling power of war vessels, and coal a "contraband
The service had been rusty from long idleness, in both officers and vessels.
"Presto change," four years later the navy of the United States consisted of six
hundred and seventy-one vessels. It exceeded that of any other naval power, not excepting
America revolutionized the natives of the world, when on the afternoon of the 9th day
of March, 1862, at Hampton Roads, the Monitor and the Merrimac fought the first battle of
The ingenuity of our people both North and South was something marvelous in the
productions and improvements in Naval architecture, and the World stood and wondered.
Even the American gun-boats of light draught on our western rivers so eminently adapted
for the work committed to them, were marvels in their fashion.
Necessity is indeed the mother of invention, and no one understood this better than the
The history of the Maryland sailors and marines in the Civil War for the preservation
of the Federal Union 1861-5, is a part of the History of the American Navy during that period,
for scarcely a vessel or a squadron in any of their engagements or movements, but what had
a Maryland sailor on their shipping lists.