Naval War College Review




The American Civil War saw the introduction of many new concepts to the art of warfare, some of which were widely recognized at the time. The importance of railroads to tactical flexibility and logistics, and the impact of ironclad naval vessels on future warfare have long been noted. An equally significant but somewhat unappreciated development, however, arose from the conflict on the Western rivers of the Confederacy—riverine operations. Born of necessity, circumstance, and the vision of a few men, cooperation between infantry and an odd assortment of improvised river forces gave Union commanders the decisive advantage needed to split the Confederacy and hasten the North's ultimate victory.