CWN 150 Blogger Gordon has provided coverage of the US Navy’s first big operation of the Civil War, the Hatteras Expedition, in two prior posts (18 Aug 2011 and 21 Sept 2011), so I certainly don’t mean to duplicate prior content. That said, I had to share with you this illustration I found in the online collection “Civil War Drawings” on the Library of Congress web site.
The picture struck me because it is so dynamic; it resonates with activity. In the right foreground are infantry companies forming up on the beach. In the left foreground additional troops are coming ashore in the surf, and behind them ships boats are bringing in more. Towards the background on the left, the Revenue Cutter Harriet Lane appears to be providing close inshore gun support, foreshadowing the role played by destroyers in the D-Day landings at Normandy. In the background in line-ahead formation are the “big boys”: the steam frigate Minnesota, the sailing sloop Cumberland, the steam frigate Wabash, and the side-wheel steam gunboat Susquehanna. The target of their gunfire is in the right background, Fort Clarke, and you can see the shells bursting over the fort.