The U.S.N.L.P. Handbook
Recommended Reading List

All books can be ordered through the NMLHA Ship's Library


If you are just starting your collection of Civil War naval books, a suggested order of purchase or reading is:

Overviews and Daily Life

  1. Life in Mr. Lincoln’s Navy (best overall source for reenacting)
  2. Union Jacks (another excellent source of "daily life" information)
  3. Divided Waters and/or By Sea & By River (both excellent overviews of the course of the wat)
  4. Lamson of the Gettysburg (letters home describing day-to-day experiences, excellent reference for sailors ashore)
  5. Invasion & Conquest of N. Carolina (biographical info gets in the way of the story, but a wealth of info here)
  6. Damn the Torpedoes! and/or Naval Warfare
    (variety of stories and incidents; either one is worth the cost for illustrations alone)
  7. Confederate Goliath (excellent telling of the attempts of the USN to take Fort Fisher)
  8. Combined Operations
    (admittedly difficult to stick with, but worth the effort; makes a case for McClellan’s attempts to conquer by taking the "strategic offensive / tactical defensive")
  9. Ironclads at War (very interesting background on development and evolution of iron warships)
  10. The United States Marine Corps in the Civil War (four volumes)

Uniform References (no order of preference)

  1. The Civil War Military Machine
  2. The Fighting Men of the Civil War
  3. The Navies
  4. The Uniforms of the United States Navy
  5. Arms and Equipment of the Civil War

Background References

  1. Mr. Lincoln's Navy
  2. Brown Water, Black Berets (different war, same situations)
  3. Lobscouse and Spotted Dog (food recipes)
  4. Salt as a Factor in the Confederacy
    (source of the data on this topic in the NLP Handbook; appears quirky but is really not. The author doesn’t try to claim this as "the one true reason the South lost", but does detail and reference the several battles that were fought to gain salt mines and the effect the USN had on Southern salt production)
  5. Foreigners in the Union Army and Navy (just the Navy chapter)
  6. Lincoln and the Emperors (excellent and largely unknown story of the plans of the European monarchies to reassert their imperial claims in North America – not only France and England, but Austria and Belgium as well)
  7. Ships vs Shore (details fort-by-fort the actions that ensued there between Confederate shore batteries and the USN)
  8. Guns on the Western Waters

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