Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Midlist Writer blog, where he talks about writing, adventure travel, caving, and everything else he gets up to. He also reproduces all the posts from Civil War Horror, so drop on by!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Today in history: The USS Essex defeats the CSS Arkansas

On this day 150 years ago the Confederate gunboat CSS Arkansas was defeated on the Mississippi by the USS Essex, two other Union gunboats, and her own bad luck. You can read about this exciting naval battle over at the Civil War Daily Gazette.

I've written about the USS Essex before. It features prominently in the sequel to my Civil War novel A Fine Likeness. The story takes place in late 1864, shortly after the events of that book, and follows the adventures of Allen Addison, the son of Captain Richard Addison, one of the protagonists in A Fine Likeness. This Library of Congress photo shows the USS Essex. I'm thinking of incorporating it into my cover.

Reading about the battle again has given me some ideas for my novel. . .


  1. I'm still amazed those boats floated.

  2. That picture is a photograph? I'm surprised it's so clear. I hope your research gives you lots of new ideas for your books! :-)

    1. Yep, that's a real photo. Gunboats don't move around like people, so it's easier to get a good clear image even with a tintype!


Got something to say? Feel free! No anonymous comments allowed, though. Too many spammers and haters on the Internet.