|About the Book|
After painstaking research, Stauffer Miller has put together the story of Cape Cod, Massachusetts many ship captains and mates who put aside their careers as merchant seamen to don the uniform of Union Navy officers in the Civil War. What made themMoreAfter painstaking research, Stauffer Miller has put together the story of Cape Cod, Massachusetts many ship captains and mates who put aside their careers as merchant seamen to don the uniform of Union Navy officers in the Civil War. What made them do it? What was the effect of their actions on their families, or themselves? Here is their story, often of conflict within a conflict. In many cases, these men were close to great newsmakers of American history, as illustrated by two book excerpts. The first is an observation by Benjamin Dyer Jr. of Truro, on the gunboat Mahaska:City Point, Va, May 28, 1862. We are now quite close to famous Monitor, and a queer-looking craft she is. She looks like a raft with a circular tower amidships. She bears two of three deep dents in her turret and two ugly marks, one on each bow, received in her gallant encounter with the Merrimac. Altogether, she is a naval curiosity.Sylvannus Nickerson of Yarmouth and on the gunboat Itasca witnessed something equally historic, described by the author:While patrolling the Mississippi River in October 1862, the Itasca encountered on the east bank a herd of 1,500 head of longhorn cattle which had been brought north from Texas in one of the first of that states famed cattle drives. When examination of the drovers passes revealed the cattle were for the Confederate Army, the drovers went to New Orleans under arrest, the cattle to Union possession. Sailor-turned-cowpuncher Nickerson went ashore with details of me to guard the longhorns from lurking guerillas while gunboats, transports and sailors drove the whole wild and unmanageable herd to New Orleans in what was termed a novel act of duty for the Navy.