From this side of the Atlantic I know little of the naval aspect of the American Civil War other than the Monitor/Merrimac encounter and a vague awareness of a Union blockade and Confederate blockade runners, therefore I was pleased to have the opportunity of reading Albemarle by Jim Stempel. The book is a fictionalised account of the true story of the Confederate Ram Albemarle and it's activities on the Roanoke river, interspersed with the raids of it's eventual nemesis Lt. William B. Cushing and also uses conversations and thoughts of Abraham Lincoln to set their actions in the wider context of the war.
This was a very interesting read which as well as being a well written naval fiction story about the ship's and officers involved gave me a good insight into the wider actions of both navies and the men who fought with them, all set within the wider political context of the aims and activities of both governments and their armies.
I enjoyed reading this novel and for anyone who wished to know more about the Albemarle, the extraordinary achievements of Lt. Cushing and the river campaigns of the navies this fictionalised account is recommended reading.
Description of: Albemarle
Author: Jim Stempel