Civil War Navies Bookworm

If you read my last post, you know that this semester I engaged in building a Bookworm using a government document collection. My professor challenged me to try my system for parsing the documents on a different, larger collection of government documents. The collection I chose to work with is the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies. My Barbary Bookworm took me all semester to build; this Civil War navies Bookworm took me…

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Database of Officers of the Line

Becoming an officer of the line in the navy is a bit like getting on the tenure track in academia. Not all officers are created equal–officers such as pursers, sailing masters, and chaplains were classified as officers and received the preferential treatment given to officers. But they could never be captains–they were not in line for those sorts of promotions. Data The Naval Historical Center has made lists available of the officers of the navy…

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Poetry and War: Constitution v. Guerriere

In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of War of 1812, here’s an excerpt from Columbia’s Naval Victories, a poem about the naval victories of the Americans, written in 1813 by Benjamin Allen. — In war a lion, though a lamb in peace, Hull [1. A brief biography of Isaac Hull can be found here.] bears the flag of freedom o’er the seas;[2. A motto often flown on ship’s flags was “Free Trade and Sailors’ Rights.”] Ready to…

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