Hoisting Their Colors

( 1 )

Overview

After painstaking research, Stauffer Miller has put together the story of Cape Cod, Massachusetts' many ship captains and mates who put aside their careers as merchant seamen to don the uniform of Union Navy officers in the Civil War. What made them do it? What was the effect of their actions on their families, or themselves? Here is their story, often of conflict within a conflict.

In many cases, these men were close to great newsmakers of American history, as illustrated by ...

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Overview

After painstaking research, Stauffer Miller has put together the story of Cape Cod, Massachusetts' many ship captains and mates who put aside their careers as merchant seamen to don the uniform of Union Navy officers in the Civil War. What made them do it? What was the effect of their actions on their families, or themselves? Here is their story, often of conflict within a conflict.

In many cases, these men were close to great newsmakers of American history, as illustrated by two book excerpts. The first is an observation by Benjamin Dyer Jr. of Truro, on the gunboat Mahaska:

"City Point, Va, May 28, 1862. We are now quite close to famous Monitor, and a queer-looking craft she is. She looks like a raft with a circular tower amidships. She bears two of three deep dents in her turret and two ugly marks, one on each bow, received in her gallant encounter with the Merrimac. Altogether, she is a naval curiosity."

Sylvannus Nickerson of Yarmouth and on the gunboat Itasca witnessed something equally historic, described by the author:

"While patrolling the Mississippi River in October 1862, the Itasca encountered on the east bank a herd of 1,500 head of longhorn cattle which had been brought north from Texas in one of the first of that state's famed cattle drives. When examination of the drovers' passes revealed the cattle were for the Confederate Army, the drovers went to New Orleans under arrest, the cattle to Union possession. Sailor-turned-cowpuncher Nickerson went ashore with details of me to guard the longhorns from lurking guerillas while gunboats, transports and sailors drove the whole "wild and unmanageable herd" to New Orleans in what was termed "a novel actof duty for the Navy."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781436306775
  • Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
  • Publication date: 8/28/2008
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.31 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 15, 2008

    Should be Required Reading

    This is a must-read for anyone interested in the Civil War, its navy, ships, Cape Cod genealogy, biography and adventure. Author Miller has accomplished the nigh-unto-impossible by organizing tens of thousands of researched facts - ingeniously annotated and cross-referenced - into an immensely readable book about the 179 Cape Cod naval officers. The book starts with the "transformation" (how the Cape Codders became naval officers) and explanations of uniforms, pay rates and ranks. A glossary of nautical terms and a list and descriptions of the ships they served in augment the documentation. Starting with Sandwich, Miller works his way down the Cape to Provincetown giving an overview of each town and mini-biographies of its naval officers. The reader will find heroes and scoundrels, tragic stories, bravado, illnesses and medical care, disciplinary actions, excess and deprivation, and encounters with famous people of the day. Miller breathed life into dusty military records and 179 men emerged. His marvelous dry wit enhances their virtues and foibles in this super-macho era. I would give this book more than 5 stars if I coulod. It would make a great Christmas gift.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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