US Naval Civil War Reenactment
Commander Seals requests a $20 donation which helps defray his costs of accouterments (this is completely voluntary) - which he pays to his sutler and any travel expenses. Additionally, Commander Seals provides period coins and bills (with their own fascinating history), period writing utensils, sword, kit bag, maps, and pictures.
Please indicate topics you would like Commander Seals to speak to (i.e. life in the 1860s, Norwich history prior to 1862, Naval life). Also indicate the intended audience (i.e. grade 1-2, high school juniors, annual meeting of historical society) and desired length of talk.
Please note that Commander Seals will only be able to provide information from his point of view. For instance if asked questions about General Lee, he will only point out that information which he has heard or read. Being a sailor he has only a little knowledge of what the armies are doing. However, he is well read, and will most certainly give his opinion about current (1862) events.
Robert Gordon, Boy 3rd class at muster on Norwich's Chelsea Parade
Norwich, Connecticut History
Lieutenant Commander, Ezra Seals, USN is available to talk about life and growing up in the 1840s and 1850s in the Norwich Area. Ezra lived mainly with his uncle and aunt while his merchant father was sailing to and from India.
While Ezra and his immediate family is complete fiction, the events, people, and items he describes are all historically accurate. Ezra can answer many questions. Among them:
... and many more!
U.S.S. Alligator The U.S. Navy's first submarine
In this talk, Geoff McLean, dressed in period naval uniform will give an in-depth talk of submarines and submarine warfare in the Civil War. Did you know that there were at least 20 and maybe 24 or more submarines in the Civil War?. Submarines served on both sides of the conflict.
Geoff will come equipped to talk about the recent discovery of the existence of the USS Alligator - the true forerunner of the modern submarine. Additionally, he will discuss what the US Navy and NOAA are doing to find the Alligator. He will also discuss many Southern submarines and "David" class semi-submersibles.
Submarines operated in many theaters of the war and it is fascinating to find out that two opposing submarines were in the same theater at the same time.
Torpedoes terrified Union crews as did submarines. Learn how a torpedo was used from a submarine to sink the USS Housatonic. Was the USS Tecumseh sunk by torpedo or submarine?
The Captain ensures his orders are followed
Invasion of North Carolina Spring 1862
In this talk, Lieutenant Commander Seals will give a first hand account of his first command including the defense of Washington DC on the Potomac, The Invasion of North Carolina, and the Day the Virginia destroyed the U.S. Naval Fleet at Fortress Monroe.
The Captain will show the audience captured Confederate bills, discuss the various battles, and encounters with local populations of North Carolina.
Hand drawn maps of the areas will be discussed showing the terrain features and how the U.S. Navy exploited these features
The Navy's part of the Anaconda Plan and how the Navy will win the war for the Union will be discussed.
Daily Life of a Sailor
Learn what sailors did during their tours at sea during the War of the Rebellion
Sailors on the blockade faced the challenge of severe boredom and mutiny was always a threat. How did they cope with out news of their families?
Sailors in the brown water Navy fought battles alongside their Army brethren. What did they take ashore with them? What were their weapons?
And for all sailors what were their seabags stuffed with? How did they entertain themselves? How did they mend themselves? And how did what they do compare to civilian life?
Commander Seals and either his daughter, Lydia, or Robert Gordon will mesmerize you with how life was lived in this non-electric age where the modern industrial revolution was just beginning to take place
This presentation is appropriate for all age groups, and our reenactors will bring with them as many period materials as they can - from weapons to housewives, and gills to hardtack. We recommend allocating two hours for this. Our traveling museum has grown quite large and covering all the artifacts is difficult to do in only one hour. This is our most asked for presentation. Numerous stories (everything in the museum has a story behind it) are told and audience participation is a must.
The Traveling Museum
The U.S. Navy's role in the Civil War is all but forgotten. Outnumbered by their army brethren some 20 to 1 it is small wonder that the battles the Navy waged are almost lost to history. School children are taught the Army view of the war - devoid of the Navy's participation. Only with knowledge of the Navy's contribution can many battles' outcomes be explained.
It was said that Mr. Lincoln's Navy could go wherever there was a puddle on the ground. Indeed sailors often fought side-by-side with the soldiers, enduring the same hardships, but fighting very differently
Audiences have been thrilled to learn of the exploits of these gallant men and all come away learning something new of the history of this great nation.
Percival Drayton, Flag Captain, U.S.N.
The Night the Confederacy Was Lost
Although the nation still had a horrendous amount of blood left to shed, the Confederacy was doomed the night Rear Admiral David Glasgow Farragut and his fleet ran past the forts south of New Orleans. New Orleans was the Confederacy's largest, most industrial, and international city. The utter failure of the government in Richmond, Virginia to protect this vital city ensured that the Confederate States of America could never have become a sovereign state.
In this presentation we discuss what was done to protect New Orleans, what wasn't done, and most importantly who was responsible on both sides. The world was watching as the events of 1861 and early 1862 unfolded and the European powers were debating whether to recognize the Confederacy. We will cover the international ramifications as well as what may have happened - had Richmond, and in particular Jefferson Davis and Stephen Mallory, been competent leaders.
New for 2012
150 Years Ago, Today
The Navy was very much actively involved in the US Civil War. Find out what the six squadrons and two permanent flotillas were doing. And it wasn't just a boring blockade. Discover lost truths about what the Navy did and dispel outrageous notions that have become the "common wisdom" which relegates the Navy to uselessness in modern textbooks, but in reality saved the Union and prevented World War I from occurring 50 years earlier.
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photos © Copyright 2003-2010 MRA
Black and white Photos © Copyright 2005 Peter J Crowley Studios
Percival Drayton photo is in the public domain and not copyrighted