Date of Award

Summer 8-2018

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)





Committee Chair

Susannah Ural

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Kyle Zelner

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Kenneth Swope

Committee Member 3 Department



The American Civil War included one of the pivotal naval contests of the nineteenth century. A topic of considerable importance is the joint operations on the western waters that brought about a string of crucial victories in the conflict for the Union. The effective cooperation of the naval river fleet and the western armies was a major cornerstone of Union victory. Scholars have written biographies of the more noted admirals and narratives of the flotilla have been detailed. What has not been accomplished is an exploration of the Union officers’ professional partnerships between the Mississippi Squadron commanders and their corresponding army counterparts.

The Naval-Army joint missions in the riverine operations impacted the overall operational effectiveness of the Union forces and are significant to understanding the outcome of the war. This study is grounded in the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion and the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies, as well as key combatants’ memoirs and postwar writings. These reveal the successes and failures in Army-Navy cooperation and their significance to the larger war effort. The complexities of these professional relationships underscore the challenges of combined operations and offer insight for modern military leaders and scholars examining the significance of the Western Theater of operations on the Union’s ultimate victory in the American Civil War.