A Country of Our Own: A Novel of the Civil War at Sea by David Poyer


In A Country of Our Own, David Poyer offers the second volume of his epic novel cycle of The Civil War at Sea, a story of the war across the waters of the world that decided the bitterest struggle America has ever waged.

We first met Lt. Ker Custis Claiborne, formerly of the United States Navy, in Fire on the Waters. Claiborne is no admirer of the institution of slavery. But he’s also a Virginian. When the North decides to preserve an outworn Union by force, his course is clear. In A Country of Our Own, he “goes South,” joining first the Virginia Navy, then the fledgling Confederate States Navy.

After fighting on the shores of the Potomac alongside the hastily mustered Army of Virginia, Ker runs the blockade out of New Orleans aboard a converted sidewheeler-turned-Confederate raider. He and his saturnine mentor, Captain Parker Trezevant, burn, sink, and destroy across the Caribbean, to undermine the Union’s financial might and force a truce favorable to the Confederacy.

But when that first cruiser proves under-armed and short-legged, Ker joins Commander James Bullock in England to buy or build a ship of war capable of sweeping Union commerce from the seas. When a daring coup puts Ker in command of the fastest, most dangerous raider ever to range from Brazil to Boston — the ex-opium clipper C.S.S. Maryland — he sets Yankee seamen a-tremble wherever the water’s salt and seagulls scream. And he may even decide the outcome of the war.

In the tradition of Patrick O’Brian and C. S. Forester, A Country of Our Own is historical sea fiction at its best — authentic, engrossing, vivid, and expertly paced — from the master sea-yarner The New York Times Book Review raves “knows what he is writing about when it comes to anything on, above, or below the water.”

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