Part of the USA Today Network

York CWRT to discuss Floating Iron: The New Navies of the Civil War on April 18

Some of Scott Mingus's 1:600 scale miniature Civil War naval vessels negotiate the Mississippi River during a wargame.

Author and historian Dr. Lawrence E. Keener-Farley will be the featured speaker at the monthly meeting of the York Civil War Round Table on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will be held in the auditorium of the York County Heritage Trust at 250 E. Market St. in downtown York. The talk is free, as is parking.

The presentation topic of the evening will be Floating Iron: The New Navies of the Civil War.

This slide-illustrated lecture looks at the often neglected naval side of the Civil War and the impact of the blockade, river warfare, and high seas actions on the outcome of the war. Particular emphasis will be on the new inventions that changed the nature of naval warfare forever, including the steam engine, screw propeller, armor plate, revolving turrets and rifled cannons.

Lawrence E. Keener-Farley is a graduate of York College, Shippensburg University, Temple University and Widener University. Prior to retiring, he was Director of Education at the National Civil War Museum. During his career, Dr. Keener-Farley was also employed by York College, Alice Lloyd College and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Larry is currently a gallery historian at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum, an adjunct faculty member at Harrisburg Area Community College, a consultant for the Pennsylvania Civil War Trails Project, and a Board Member of the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association, Cumberland County Historical Society and Civil War Dance Foundation. He served eight years as the President of the Camp Curtin Historical Society. Larry also co-edited and wrote much of Civil War Harrisburg: A Guide to Capital Area Sites, Incidents and Personalities.

Riverine patrols helped the Union Army take control of the Mississippi and other rivers in the Western Theater early in the war. Ironclads also played a role on the Eastern Theater rivers later in the war. Concurrently, coastal vessels and high seas vessels blockaded Southern ports in what was termed the Anaconda Plan. The above photo depicts a wargame of a Union Army fleet's attack on a Confederate riverport. Models from the wargaming collection of Scott Mingus.