Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Charleston Campaign, it's more than the Hunley and Fort Wagner

The Hunley stuff has predictably stayed in the news, but, at least in terms of publishing, the Charleston Campaign as a whole has not received much love during the Sesquicentennial. Offhand, I can't think of any new major works showing up over the last two or three years. While the printed page may be shooting blanks, Craig Swain's To the Sound of the Guns website has been unleashing a constant stream of informative, well illustrated, and deftly written articles shedding light on various historical and material aspects of the Charleston Campaign.  They jump around according to the author's particular interests, and those not sharing Craig's fascination with all things Civil War artillery may struggle to muster up enthusiasm for the series, but I appreciate his easy-to-follow accounts of obscure actions and raids and the lavish attention paid to quantitative detail.


  1. Drew,

    I completely agree. I've been following Craig's threads on Charleston as well as the diary of Fifth Corps Artillery Chief Charles Wainwright.


  2. Thanks, Drew. As you point out, the Charleston Campaign, which was the war's longest, is often summarized with mention of "Glory!" and the Hunley. Practically every day from April 1863 to the end of the war, Charleston saw some action or activity. As Captain George E. Dixon, of the Hunley, wrote just before his death, "if you wish to see war every day and night, this is the place to see it."

  3. I have longed for a detailed, well-researched and expertly written history of the entire Charleston campaign. Much like Petersburg, which is finally getting some attention, Charleston was a very complex area of operations. I agree with Drew. Thanks for the attention you are paying to it, Craig.

    1. We definitely need an update to Burton.

    2. Sharon S. MacDonald, who co-wrote “Foster’s A Humbug: Attack on Charleston” North and South, Vol. 11: No. 5 (October 2009), is supposedly working on a history of the Dept of the South, but I've heard nothing more about it between then and now.

  4. I find the Charleston campaign one of the really fascinating campaigns of military history. It is utterly stunning that more hasn't been written on it.



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