In this Book

The Best Station of Them All
summary

The Best Station of Them All is the story of the Confederate navy’s Savannah Squadron, its relationship with the people of Savannah, Georgia, and its role in the city’s economy.

In this well-written and extensively researched narrative, Maurice Melton charts the history of the unit, the sailors (both white and black), the officers, their families, and their activities aboard ship and in port.

The Savannah Squadron worked, patrolled, and fought in the rivers and sounds along the Georgia coast. Though they saw little activity at sea, the unit did engage in naval assault, boarding, capture, and ironclad combat. The sailors finished the war as an infantry unit in Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, fighting at Sayler’s Creek on the road to Appomattox.

Melton concentrates on navy life and the squadron’s place in wartime Savannah. The book reveals who the Confederate sailors were and what their material, social, and working lives were like.

The Best Station of Them All is an essential piece of historical literature for anyone interested in the Civil War, its navies, or Savannah.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. 2-7
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xiii
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  1. 1. The Georgia Navy
  2. pp. 1-7
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  1. 2. Tattnall: The Legend Comes Home
  2. pp. 8-12
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  1. 3. The Georgia Coast Guard
  2. pp. 13-20
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  1. 4. “Old Abes Blockade Is No Good in This Section”
  2. pp. 21-29
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  1. 5. “All We Want Is to Be Let Alone”
  2. pp. 30-46
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  1. 6. Sailors
  2. pp. 47-58
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  1. 7. The Bermuda Shows the Way
  2. pp. 59-61
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  1. 8. A Future Navy
  2. pp. 62-67
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  1. 9. Port Royal
  2. pp. 68-73
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  1. 10. Enter the Fingal
  2. pp. 74-78
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  1. 11. “Happy Hearts and Happy Homes Are Now No More”: The Battle for Port Royal
  2. pp. 79-87
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  1. 12. Bringing the Fingal Home
  2. pp. 88-92
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  1. 13. The Fingal, Tattnall, and Robert E. Lee
  2. pp. 93-103
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  1. 14. The Enemy Outside
  2. pp. 104-115
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  1. 15. Lee Goes, and Tattnall Follows
  2. pp. 116-125
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  1. 16. The Ladies’ Ironclad Gunboat
  2. pp. 126-128
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  1. 17. Pulaski Goes Up
  2. pp. 129-135
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  1. 18. The Lull
  2. pp. 136-145
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  1. 19. Ironclads for Savannah
  2. pp. 146-154
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  1. 20. The Interim
  2. pp. 155-158
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  1. 21. “The Poetry of the Profession Is Gone”
  2. pp. 159-170
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  1. 22. Training and Trials
  2. pp. 171-175
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  1. 23. Christmas, 1862
  2. pp. 176-182
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  1. 24. The Promise of Ironclads
  2. pp. 183-197
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  1. 25. The Revolving Door
  2. pp. 198-216
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  1. 26. “With a Few Blows Crushed Out All Hope”
  2. pp. 217-230
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  1. 27. The Aftermath
  2. pp. 231-250
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  1. 28. Prisoners
  2. pp. 251-260
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  1. 29. Fall, 1863
  2. pp. 261-265
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  1. 30. The Great Christmas Riot
  2. pp. 266-275
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  1. 31. Early 1864
  2. pp. 276-287
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  1. 32. In the Doldrums
  2. pp. 288-292
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  1. 33. The Florida Boys
  2. pp. 293-304
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  1. 34. Blockaded
  2. pp. 305-309
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  1. 35. The Water Witch
  2. pp. 310-329
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  1. 36. After the Capture
  2. pp. 330-333
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  1. 37. Securing the Prize
  2. pp. 334-342
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  1. 38. The Newlyweds
  2. pp. 343-348
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  1. 39. Waiting
  2. pp. 349-362
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  1. 40. John Thomas Scharf, Midshipman
  2. pp. 363-368
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  1. 41. Savannah Feels the Pressure
  2. pp. 369-380
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  1. 42. Savannah Goes Up: The Squadron Shattered
  2. pp. 381-395
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  1. 43. Wilmington
  2. pp. 396-402
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  1. 44. Augusta
  2. pp. 403-409
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  1. 45. Richmond, the “Aye, Ayes,” and Sayler’s Creek
  2. pp. 410-417
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  1. 46. The End
  2. pp. 418-423
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 425-503
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 505-516
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 517-541
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