Admiral Franklin Buchanan was a Marylander with a long and distinguished career in the old Union Navy to his credit before his conscience took him across the line to the Confederacy. Once in the gray, he saw an extensive and action-filled period of war service unequaled by any other naval commander. He commanded the CSS Virginia in her epic contest with the Federal fleet at Hampton Roads on March 8, 1862, and later commanded the CSS Tennessee in Mobile Bay.
The regulation Confederate States Navy uniform was a splendid, understated, gray woolen affair. His rank was indicated by the four rings of gold braid on his sleeves, the bullion-rimmed four stars on the blue-backed shoulder straps, and the four stars and fouled anchor on his cap. He carries the Model 1852 naval officer's sword and with it wears the prewar two-piece naval officer's belt plate. No better commander trod a deck, North or South.
Left: Admiral Franklin Buchanan was easily Farragut's counterpart, the Confederacy's most distinguished seaman. Only the Virginia and the
Tennessee really challenged Union warships, and Buchanan commanded both.
Was this article helpful?