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Craig L Symonds’ “Civil War at Sea”

We recently returned from a cruise in the Caribbean and while at sea I enjoyed reading Symonds’ book. I had read it before and this time was taking the time to study in detail his wonderful stories.

Hear are a few trivia questions that I thought you might enjoy and that I did not want to forget. Again the numbers only refer to my most recent list.

20. General Winfield Scott Hancock, hero of Gettysburg and Spotsylvania Courthouse, was only significantly defeated in one battle. The destruction of his II Corps was the objective of Confederates in what battle which was his only personal loss?
On 25 August 1864, Generals Harry Heth and William Mahone from AP Hill’s Corps attacked and overran Hancock’s faulty disposition at Reams Station, Virginia. Along with Wade Hampton’s flank attack the II Corps was routed and many guns lost. Hancock’s painful thigh wound from Gettysburg had never healed. That and the humiliation of Reams Station caused him to give up his field command in November. At the Battle of Burgess’ Mill Confederates again targeted Hancock’s Corps for destruction by again failed.

21. What two American presidents have had US revenue cutters named in their honor?
Jefferson Davis and U S Grant USRC Jefferson Davis patrolled the West Coast of the United States during the war.

22. What unique distinction is held by US Revenue Cutter Service Captain Thomas M. Dugan?
He is the only person in the Revenue Marine Service to lose his life in the Civil War. He was killed by small arms fire off Point Lookout, MD so on 12 August 1864 while on board the Revenue Cutter Reliance.

23. Who was the first Union general to respond to a Confederate request for surrender terms by using the term “unconditional surrender”?
Brigadier C. F. Smith, one of Grant’s division commanders was the first to receive the communication from General S. B. Buckner at Ft Donelson delivered by Maj. Nathaniel Cheairs. Smith replied gruffly that he would “make no terms with rebels with arms in their hands–my terms would be Unconditional and immediate surrender”. Smith had been Commandant of Cadets at West Point when Grant was a cadet. He was a beloved officer and when he died of infection from a foot injury he was mourned by many officers on both sides.

24. Where was the first confrontation between a riverine gunboat and Confederate forces ashore?
At Commerce, Missouri the timberclad gunboat Tyler under Commander John Rodgers fired on rebel gunners along the Mississippi River bank. In August 1861 Confederates under Gen. M. Jeff Thompson occupied the Union leaning town looting and terrorizing the population. They were also firing on riverboat traffic.


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