Monday, July 24, 2006

"Storm Over Carolina"

I'll read just about anything having to do with coastal operations in the Carolinas. Storm over Carolina: The Confederate Navy's Struggle for Eastern North Carolina is another of a long line of Confederate naval histories by R. Thomas Campbell. Although he writes very well, Campbell's research is rather modest, based largely on official records heavily supported by various secondary sources (a survey of the notes also uncovers an unfortunate habit in places of citing quoted passages from published secondary sources rather than from the original documents). Like Campbell's other books that I've read, this is naval history written for a popular audience; and with that purpose in mind the author does his work well.

In Storm Over Carolina, chapters cover the Confederate navy's disastrous attempts to stem the 1862 Burnside Expedition and the later program to build ironclad vessels to prevent further inroads into North Carolina and to regain ports and waterways already lost. Published by Cumberland House, the book is a paperback of decent quality, with the text supported well with numerous photos, illustrations and maps. Several appendices provide researchers and students with rosters of the officers and men serving aboard each ironclad vessel. Supplemental primary source material is placed there as well.

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