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The Sea Eagle

The Civil War Memoir of LCdr. William B. Cushing, U.S.N.

Edited by Alden R. Carter

William Barker Cushing is considered one of the navy's greatest heroes of the Civil War. After his expulsion from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1861, Cushing managed to get an appointment as a master's mate on one of the warships of a blockading squadron. Cushing's daring and exceptional performance in battle led to a spectacular rise in rank, responsibility, and reputation. His military career culminated in his torpedoing of the Confederate ironclad Albermarle on the Roanoke River in 1864, an operation he executed under heavy enemy fire. This new and fully annotated edition of Cushing's memoir, originally written in 1867–1868, conveys the excitement and drama of a truly extraordinary Civil War naval career. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 184Size: 6 3/8 x 9 3/4
978-0-7425-7053-5 • Hardback • August 2009 • $46.00 • (£31.95)
978-0-7425-9996-3 • eBook • August 2009 • $43.00 • (£29.95)
Alden R. Carter is a former naval officer and teacher. Named to the Wisconsin Library Association's list "Notable Wisconsin Authors" in 2002, he has published over forty books for children, young adults, and adults. His books have won numerous honors, including six American Library Association Best Book awards. His adult novel Bright Starry Banner was named the Best Civil War Novel of 2004 by the Military Order of the Stars and Bars.
Introduction: Before the War
Part I: The Sea Eagle
Chapter 1: Early Duty and the Capture of Hatteras Inlet
Chapter 2: The Virginia Capes and the Battle of Hampton Roads
Chapter 3: Blackwater River
Chapter 4: Captain of the Ellis and the Battle of New River
Chapter 5: Little River
Chapter 6: Nansemond River
Chapter 7: Gettysburg
Chapter 8: Shokoken
Chapter 9: Monticello
Chapter 10: Chasing the Raleigh
Chapter 11: CSS Albemarle
Chapter 12: Fort Fisher
Chapter 13: Wilmington
Part II: From Battles and Leaders of the Civil War
Chapter 14: The First Battle of the Confederate Ram Albemarle by Her Builder, Gilbert Elliot
Chapter 15: The Albemarle and the Sassacus by Edgar Holden, U. S. N.
Chapter 16: The Destruction of the Albemarle by W. B. Cushing, Commander, U. S. N.
Chapter 17: Note on the Destruction of the Albemarle by Her Captain, A. F. Warley, C. S. N.
Chapter 18: The Defense of Fort Fisher by its Commander, William Lamb, Colonel, C. S. A.
Chapter 19: The Navy at Fort Fisher by Thomas O. Selfridge, Captain, U. S. N.
Appendix 1: Ships Mentioned in the Text
Appendix 2: Officers Mentioned in the Text
In The Sea Eagle, editor Carter adequately portrays Cushing in his introduction to the commander's wartime memoirs. The addition of glossaries describing officers and ships mentioned in the text, plus contemporary articles originally published in Battles and Leaders of the Civil War flesh out the life and exploits of the dashing Cushing.
The Past In Review

William Barker Cushing was the most intrepid and exciting officer in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War. His daring raids behind enemy lines, including the destruction of the Confederate ironclad Albemarle, are the stuff of legends. Alden Carter perfectly captures Cushing’s personality and actions in his introduction to the naval officer’s fascinating wartime memoir.

Chris E. Fonvielle Jr., University of North Carolina Wilmington, author of The Wilmington Campaign