Lamson of the Gettysburg: The Civil War Letters of Lieutenant Roswell H. Lamson

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 95%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (39) from $1.99   
  • New (11) from $2.99   
  • Used (28) from $1.99   

Overview

Roswell Lamson was one of the boldest and most skillful young officers in the Union navy. Second in the class of 1862 at Annapolis (he took his final exam while at sea during the war), he commanded more ships and flotillas than any other officer of his age or rank in the service, climaxed by his captaincy of the navy's fastest ship in 1864, USS Gettysburg. Now, in Lamson of the Gettysburg, we have the war-time letters of this striking naval figure. What's more, these are letters of exceptional quality. James M. McPherson, co-editor of the collection with his wife Patricia and one of America's preeminent Civil War historians, writes that "few sets of letters equal and none surpass those of Lamson for richness of description, scope of coverage, or keenness of perception and analysis." Indeed, the McPhersons term Lamson's correspondence "the best Civil War navy letters we have ever read or expect to read."
Throughout the war, Lamson always seemed to be where the action was on the South Atlantic coast, and these letters describe with striking immediacy the part he played in these events. While serving on the USS Wabash, for instance, he directed the big deck guns that did the most damage to enemy forts at Hatteras Inlet and Port Royal, two major naval victories. He was the officer who took command of the CSS Planter in May 1862, when slaves led by Robert Smalls ran her past Confederate fortifications in Charleston harbor and delivered her to the Union fleet. He commanded a gunboat fleet on the Nansemond River that helped stop James Longstreet's advance on Norfolk. In a daring attempt to blow up Fort Fisher, the huge earthwork fortress that guarded the entrance into the Cape Fear river, he towed the USS Louisiana (packed with more than two hundred tons of gunpowder) directly under the guns of the fort, sneaking into the shallows behind a rebel blockade runner, (Lamson describes "a terrific explosion. An immense column of flame rose towards the sky, and four distinct reports like that of sharp heavy thunder were heard and a dense mass of smoke enveloped everything"). And a few weeks later, he led a contingent of seventy men from the Gettysburg as part of the January 15, 1865 assault on the sea-face parapets of Fort Fisher, where he himself was wounded and his close friend, Samuel W. Preston, died. The letters also capture the spirited personality of Lamson himself, resolved to "stand by the Union as long as there is a plank afloat," but also deeply ambivalent about the war. In a moving passage early in the collection, he describes leaving Annapolis for war duty on the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides): "We gave three cheers for Capt R., three for the troops, and for old friendship's sake three for those of our number who intending to resign [to join the Confederacy] were requested not to go on board. Some of my best friends were among them. This will be a sad sad war. It will be more painful to strike than to be struck."
The publication of the letters of Roswell Lamson marks a major addition to Civil War literature. Featuring superb introductions to each section as well as informative notes that explain references in the correspondence to people, ships, land and sea battles, or homefront news, Lamson of The Gettysburg now joins the first rank of Civil War sources. One of the few accounts we have from the perspective of a navy officer, it is a book that everyone interested in the Civil War or in American naval history will want to read.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195130935
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

James M. McPherson is the George Henry Davis '86 Professor of American History at Princeton University. He is the author of Battle Cry of Freedom, which won the Pulitzer Prize in History in 1989. Patricia R. McPherson is an independent researcher.

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Princeton, New Jersey
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 11, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      Valley City, North Dakota
    1. Education:
      B.A., Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN) 1958; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1963

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)