Whizzbangs and Inventions in the Civil War

Rick Britton speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

On April 3, 2014, Rick Britton presented the third lecture in our five part CPN Thursday series entitled The Civil War Through Different Lenses (2014).

It has been said that the Civil War was the last of the Napoleonic Wars and the first truly modern war. Although much of the technology used in the American Civil War had been previously invented, it was the first war to see the widespread use of such technology.

In this podcast Mr. Britton explains how balloons and submarines were used in the war. Rick also talks about The Turtle and The Alligator and gives an account of one idea that went terribly wrong, Torpedo Mules.

Portions of Mr. Britton’s lecture were based on the book Arms and Equipment of the Civil War by Jack Coggins. Click here to view the illustrations used in this podcast.

Rick Britton is a historian of the Old Dominion who specializes in 18th- and 19th-century Virginia history. Two of his main areas of expertise are the American Civil War and the life and times of our third president, Thomas Jefferson. Along with his writing, Rick conducts tours of Civil War battlefields, teaches classes on the history of central Virginia, organizes history programming for the Senior Center in Charlottesville, and illustrates maps for history books, and lectures all across Virginia on a wide range of topics. With over 200 published articles and essays under his belt, he’s the author of Albemarle & Charlottesville: An Illustrated History and Jefferson: A Monticello Sampler for which he was awarded a medal for non-fiction at New York City’s Book Expo, the nation’s largest book convention.

The lecture was presented by Rick Britton as a part of this series held in conjunction with the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Click here to listen to all five parts of this series.