Union Navy in the Civil War
During the Civil War, several important naval actions made major impacts on the course of the war.
By the end of the war, the Union Navy had about 1041 ships and other craft.
Below are links to the names of ships with information about dates of service in the Civil War and type of ship with a link to the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies where the information came from.
- Navy Department. Naval History Division, compiler. Civil War Naval Chronology. 6 parts. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1961–65. FHL film 1550320. A chronological listing of the naval war and important events.
- Silverstone, Paul H. Warships of the Civil War Navies. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989. FHL book 973 M2sil. Gives brief service histories of naval vessels and includes many photographs of naval ships.
- U.S. Navy Department. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. 30 Volumes. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1894–1922. National Archives Microfilm Publication M275. Similar to the official records of the armies, it is known as the ORN (Official Records . . . Navy). Its two series contain reports and correspondence on the Northern blockade of Southern ports and on matters concerning the Confederate Navy. Volume 1, series II has an index to Union and Confederate ships, statistical data, and muster rolls of confederate vessels. Digital versions at Internet Archive, and FamilySearch. FHL book 973 M2unr; films 1490058–88.
The following is an index to this set:
- Knox, Dudley W. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion . . . General Index. . . 1927. Reprint, New York, New York: Antiquarian Press, 1961. FHL book 973 M2unr index; film 0924604 item 2. Alphabetically arranged with reference to series and volume number. The page number is located by searching the index in the specific volume referred to in the general index.
A reference aid to the Official Records is:
- Aimone, Alan C., and Barbara A. Aimone. User’s Guide to the Official Records of the American Civil War. Shippinsburg, Pennsylvania: White Maine Publishing, 1993. FHL book 973 M29ua. Provides a history of the compilation of the official records.
Logbooks give information about the officers, number of other seamen on a ship, and the daily incidents pertaining to a ship. The following book is an alphabetical list of ships with the date span of their logbooks available at the National Archives.
- Bradley, Claudia, et.al., comp. List of logbooks of U.S. Navy ships, stations and miscellaneous units, 1801-1947, Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Service, 1978. FHL book 973 M3lo
- Hamersly, Lewis R. The Records of Living Officers of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps: with a History of Naval Operations During the Rebellion of 1861-5, and a List of the Ships and Officers Participating in the Great Battles. Bethesda, Maryland : University Publications of America, c1994. Microfiche of original published: Philadelphia : J.B. Lippincott, c1870. 350 p. Digital version on Internet Archives and FamilySearch. Also FHL fiche 6118727
- American Civil War, Naval War has several articles describing naval activities with several pictures of both the Union and Confederate navies.
- Civil War Photos - Navy Units and Ships has photos of Civil War ships, sailors, battles, etc.
- Civil War Home Page - Navy Units and Ships has photos of Civil War ships, sailors, battles, etc.
- Ironclads and Blockade Runners has information about the Civil War ironclad ships and blockade runners with links to many other sites.
General Civil War Helps
- Beginning United States Civil War Research gives steps for finding information about a Civil War soldier or sailor. It covers the major records that should be used. Additional records are described in 'Florida in the Civil War' and 'United States Civil War, 1861 to 1865' (see below).
- United States Civil War, 1861 to 1865 describes and explains United States and Confederate States records, rather than state records, and how to find them. These include veterans’ censuses, compiled service records, pension records, rosters, cemetery records, Internet databases, published books, etc.
Civil War Navy Sesquicentennial is the official blog for the sharing of information about the events of the Civil War Navy Sesquicentennial.
- U.S. Navy Department. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. 30 Volumes. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1894–1922. National Archives Microfilm Publication M275. Digital versions: Family History Books. Internet Archives. FHL book 973 M2unr; films 1490058–88.