By Rob Morgan
“A Dog Before a Soldier.”
That’s the title of a book reviewed in the new issue of The Mariner’s Mirror, quarterly journal of the Society for Nautical Research. It’s an odd review, and this appears to be an odd book!
It’s sub-titled “Almost-lost episodes in the US Navy’s Civil War,” and written or perhaps (?) compiled by Chuck Veit, and published by him at lulu.com.
It has an ISBN 9780557374977, and has some 198 pages with maps and apparently a bibliography entirely drawn from internet sources. The reviewer calls the book “curious,” and it seems to have some connection to the world of re-enactment, especially a group called the US Navy Landing Party, of which I’ve never heard. It may be that one of the SWA’s members based in the USA with an interest in such matters will know of and be able to expand on these brief second-hand comments.
I was intrigued by the mention of the Battle of the Straits of Shimonoseki in July 1863, hich is described as a “lesser-known” American Civil War encounter. There’s also an account of the US gunboats at the Battle of Shiloh (I’ve heard of that one!) and the overall thesis seems to be that the US Navy won the war. There’s obviously a debate there, then!
If anyone knows more of this book, it might make the basis a very sound review article.