President Thomas Jefferson viewed the Navy as a defensive agency that should use small, two-cannon ships. Use of these vessels in North Carolina's treacherous coastal waters validated his gunboat program philosophy.
His memories lasted for the war’s duration, from his enlistment at 17 to release from service in July 1865. His military service included the Battle of New Bern (1862); encampment at Goldsboro; imprisonments at Fort Delaware and Point Lookout. Alluded was how religion and humor helped to soften the otherwise hard experience of combat. Harshness not hinted were the economic fallout of Reconstruction for the South and life on his family’s plantation.