Lamson of the Gettysburg The Civil War Letters of Lieutenant Roswell H. Lamson, U.S. Navy


The publication of the war-time letters of Roswell Lamson, one of the boldest and most skillful young officers in the Union navy, marks a major addition to Civil War literature. Indeed, co-editors James M. McPherson, America's preeminent Civil War historian, and Patricia R. McPherson term Lamson's correspondence "the best Civil War navy letters we have ever read or expect to read". Lamson commanded more ships and flotillas than any other officer of his age or rank in the service, climaxed by his captaincy of the navy's fastest ship in 1864, USS Gettysburg. Throughout the war, Lamson always seemed to be where the action was on the South Atlantic coast, and these letters describe with striking immediacy the part he played in these events. Though he resolved to "stand by the Union as long as there is a plank afloat," Lamson's correspondence also reveals his deep ambivalence about the war. Featuring superb introductions to each section and informative notes, Lamson of The Gettysburg now joins the first rank of Civil War sources.

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