United States Navy
in the
Civil War

(Western Rivers and Gulf of Mexico)

"Gather up the fragments; let nothing be lost,
To show the coming ages what liberty cost"


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(Updated 10/4/00)


The Ward Room
(Q & A Board)


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This site is an attempt to tell the story of the "BrownWater Navy" and the brave men and women who served on the Western Rivers and Gulf of Mexico. While history books, period newspapers, printed biographies and the Official Records have provided an outline of the events of the Naval war, the real "story" is found in the letters and diaries of those who served and those whose lives were most affected.

To help us achieve our goal, we would like to encourage you to contribute information — either of a general nature or about your ancestor and his service to the country. We are especially interested in copies of deck logs, rosters, photos, diaries, letters or papers which refer to ships and/or crew members who served in the western theatre Navies. Please send copies of any material you wish to share to the addresses below.

This site will be Under Construction until
the last "fragment" is "gathered."


Conquest of the Lower Mississippi - Chronological account of the Western Gulf Blockading Fleet and the Mortar Flotilla, operating northward from the Gulf of Mexico.

Conquest of the Upper Mississippi - Chronological account of operations of the Western Gunboat Flotilla, The Mississippi Squadron and the Army Ram Fleet operating southward from St. Louis and the Ohio River.

Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers - Chronology of the Western Gunboat Flotilla and Mississippi Squadron operations along these important tributary rivers.

Western Gulf Blockade - Actions involving the Western Gulf Blockading Fleet including the battle of Mobile Bay.

Mississippi Marine Brigade - A brief history of this little-known unit which saw action on the western rivers.

The Roster - A roster of all (eventually) individuals who served in the Union Navy in the Western Theatre. Find or add your ancestor/relative!

Unsung Heroes - Biographies and images of the men whose humble contributions the history books have overlooked.

In Their Own Words - First-hand accounts of daily life and significant western rivers actions, told through in the diaries, letters and written accounts of combatants and civilians.

Vessel Service Records - Capsule Records of vessels known to have been operated by the Union Navy (and Army), with chronological listings of actions of each vessel.

The Chart Room - Links to images of authentic battlefield and theatre maps prepared by the U. S. Coast Survey.

Gallery - Images of vessels known to have seen action in the Western Theatre.

Resources - Links to primary resources used in developing this site as well as other interesting naval-related sites.

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Gary Matthews
P.O. Box 2198
Conway, AR

since 28 Nov 2000