A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Ed Popko
Date: 2016 Oct 3, 08:49 -0700
I have not found significant commentary on what the celestial navigation practices were during the Civil War.
The Yankee navy was largely tied up in blockade duty, patrolling rivers or large bays or Iron Clad duals. The round-the-world voyage of the Confederate's CSS Shenandoah destroying Yankee whaling ships (32) was quite exceptional (58,000 miles and became the only Confederate ship to circumnavigate the globe). And yes, there were US Navy ships in persuit.
By the Civil War, most vessels were equipped with chronometers, sextants and perhaps a quadrant. The American Nautical Almanac provided ephemeris data. LAN for latitude, time sights for local time and chronometer Greenwich were likely the mainstays. Lunars? Not likely any more.
So what were the common practices aboard blue water navy ships both north and south? I would appreciate any NavList-er's suggestion on where I could find out more.