Learning Lincoln On-line


Topic Sixty-four:  The Navy and Ironclads in the Civil War

Ironclads of the Civil War Learning Activity

National Ensign

Union Navy Jack

Confederate States National Ensign

Confederate Navy Jack


U.S. Civil War Naval Ships, Men and Battles--Confederate and Union
A Part of My Civil War Weapons & Warfare Activity Page
Click Here to Return or Visit Civil War Weapons Homepage

The turning point of the Civil War Naval War



"Don't give up the ship!"

Tradition has it that Captain James Lawrence said these heroic words after being mortally wounded in the engagement between his ship, the U.S. frigate Chesapeake, and HMS Shannon on 1 June 1813. As the wounded Lawrence was carried below, he ordered "Tell the men to fire faster! Don't give up the ship!"

Although Chesapeake was forced to surrender, Captain Lawrence's words lived on as a rallying cry during the war. Oliver Hazard Perry honored his dead friend Lawrence when he had the motto sewn onto the private battle flag flown during the Battle of Lake Erie, 10 September 1813.



A. . . To begin with, you should learn a little about the sail ship. 

Use the Boston SQUARE RIGGING site to find out many details. 

More details at Wikipedia Make a poster drawing a square rigger, and labeling the parts. 

Tactics of square rig ships are described here.

B. . . For this part of our activity, you will look up quotes by a variety of Naval Officers for the United States, for any period in the Navy's history.  Read from this listing of great naval quotes.  Write ten quotes and a short description of why the quote was made, when, where and by who.

C. . . Using the Learning On-Line site, choose five sail ships.  Some could be a steamer and sail.  Make a data sheet for each including:  Name of ship, type of ship, battles or campaigns served in, commander or captain, and when the ship was built, and what happened to it after it's service years ended.

D. . . When did the U.S. Navy begin to downsize?  What war was the navy small, and fears arose in the country that our enemy could attack the U.S. easily?  Visit the Public Broadcasting Online Site for a description of why and when the Navy was shrunk down.

E. . . In 1860, the Civil War would start.  How many ships did the U.S. Navy have, and what did the country have to do to get it's navy built up.  Use the Civil War Trust site to see the quick evolution of battle ships of the Civil War, and why this happened.

F. . . Check the U.S. Navy Civil War Sesquicentennial Blog Site for a Series of Articles

G. . . Use the "Glorious Sail-Steam Ships before the Civil War" for Information

You can record your answers in a Navy Form each part of the activity

Return to the Ironclads Directions Page

Learning On-Line Home Page