The second volume in a very important, definitive history of the Civil War as it was fought at sea tells the story of the River War from March 1862 to July 1863. In hundreds of pages of closely documented, scholarly, lively writing, it tells how the North finally managed to gain control of New Orleans, then the Mississippi, and to split the Confederate States in two. In this telling, it covers not only a vital part of the Civil War, but covers some of this nation's most thrilling and inspiring naval history. The story opens not on the rivers however, but in Maryland. The story of the two ironclad---Monitor and Merrimac--of the battle they never really fought, and of the sinking of the former in a storm with the loss of the latter by scuttling, set a much-romanticized sea duel aright. Then the action moves to the South, to David Farragut's famous siege of New Orleans with the mightiest U.S. fleet ever assembled until then, to the Mississippi fighting, the struggle for Mobile Bay, and the final hard drive on up to Vicksburg in the summer of 1836. The book is an excellent one, and individually or as part of the entire series, belongs on the shelves of every Civil War buff, historian, or lover of sea tales.