The Civil War Naval Encyclopedia
[2 volumes]
by Spencer C. Tucker, Editor
December 2010, 829pp, 7x10
2 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-59884-338-5
$208, £160, 181€, A285
eBook Available: 978-1-59884-339-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The land engagements of the American Civil War are thoroughly documented in the annals of history, and many scholars have examined their significance in the outcome of the conflict. But much less attention has been given to the battles waged on the water—clashes that were just as critical in determining the eventual direction of the United States.

Long overlooked in favor of land engagements, this is the first encyclopedia to analyze the naval aspects of the American Civil War.

The brilliance of both sides’ secretaries of the navy, Stephen Mallory and Gideon Welles. The Dahlgren guns of the Union forces and the Confederate Navy’s Brooke guns that were essential in battles involving ironclad ships. The significant contributions of African Americans in the ship crews of the U.S. Navy during the Civic War. These are examples of the fascinating details contained in The Civil War Naval Encyclopedia that provide readers with a complete understanding of the naval aspects of the American Civil War.

The entries in this sweeping text provide comprehensive treatment of overall strategies on each side, the role of diplomacy, leading naval officers and other personalities, battles and important engagements, ship types, well-known individual warships, naval ordnance and weapons systems, and new developments such as mines and submarines. Topics such as shipboard life, major waterways, prominent seaports, and the role of logistics in determining the outcome of the war are also covered.


  • Introductory essay unifies the material in the encyclopedia, providing an overview of the history of the navies of the American Civil War
  • Contains over 450 reference entries, listed alphabetically and with accompanying images
  • Chronology provides historical perspective and highlights the most important naval events of the war
  • Comprehensive bibliography serves as a gateway to further study
Spencer C. Tucker, PhD, graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and was a Fulbright scholar in France. He was a U.S. Army captain and intelligence analyst in the Pentagon during the Vietnam War, then taught for 30 years at Texas Christian University before returning to his alma mater for 6 years as the holder of the John Biggs Chair of Military History. He retired from teaching in 2003. He is now senior fellow of military history at ABC-CLIO. Tucker has written or edited 36 books, including ABC-CLIO's award-winning The Encyclopedia of the Cold War and The Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, as well as the comprehensive A Global Chronology of Conflict.


Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2011—Choice, January 1, 2012

2012 Outstanding Reference Resource—RUSA/ALA, January 22, 2012

Lyman Book Award Honorable Mention-U.S. Naval History—North American Society for Oceanic History, April 30, 2012


"College and public libraries looking to fill gaps in Civil War collections will not find a better resource on the subject."—Booklist, April 1, 2011

"This set, the first encyclopedia to cover the sea service side of the conflict, is long overdue. . . . This widely inclusive work should prove invaluable for a wide audience ranging from advanced scholars to Civil War buffs requiring a quick reference. . . . Highly recommended."—Choice, May 1, 2011

"These two volumes are sure to become an indispensable resource for both the serious scholar and anyone interested in the Civil War at sea. Spencer Tucker, his fellow contributors, and ABC-CLIO should be congratulated for this important contribution."—Journal of Military History, July 1, 2011
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