‘A Dog Before a Soldier’

 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.





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2 Responses to ‘A Dog Before a Soldier’

  1. Chuck Veit says:

    The Mariners’ Mirror, in fact, did not review my book at all; the reviewer (whom I am not certain even read the book), flew off on a tangent and focused more on the unrelated websites with which I am associated. His random remarks that I had used “internet sources” missed the fact that those sites were, in the main, archival databases; the single odd online source he chose to cite was used as background for a single line in the book. He also criticized the fact that I avoided secondary sources, which I consider a good thing, as almost every chapter in the book presents new research; when you are the first to discover and report on an episode, how can you use secondary sources? The book is not “compiled,” but thoroughly researched, and presents NEW information about the Navy in the War–including a previously unknown mission involving USS Monitor (a fact the reviewer also missed in his off-topic tirade about the websites).

    • George Arnold says:

      Chuck, some interest has been expressed by an LW blogger in reviewing “A Dog Before a Soldier.” If interested in the idea, please get in touch with me through the Contact function of this blog. Your e-mail at @navyandmarine.org isn’t working for us.

      LW Blog admin.

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