Harper's Weekly


The Civil War saw unique naval battles between classic sailing ships and new steam-powered innovations. Though commissioned only a few years apart, sloops-of-war (sailing ships under twenty-four cannons) and steamships like the ones pictured would go head-to-head in extraordinary tests of naval technology. 

Drawn from the Museum & Library's rare book collection, this special display is part of SEAL The Unspoken Sacrifice—providing a unique glimpse into the history of the U.S. Navy. Featuring authentic texts and compelling illustrations dating to the Navy's beginnings in the late 18th century, these rare books and documents trace the evolution of naval warfare from an era of masts, sails, and pirates to the advent of steam-powered ironclads, and from the UDT Divers of WWII to the Navy SEALs of today.

Anyone can use PMML Rare Book Room resources. Click to make an appontment.