The Civil War Navies Message Board

Farragut's Captain

'Farragut's Captain: Percival Drayton 1861-1865' has now been published and is available to order from Lulu Press, Amazon Books and Barnes & Noble.
Captain Percival Drayton USN played a central role in four key naval engagements during the American Civil War. As a personal friend and trusted subordinate of both Rear Admiral Samuel Francis Du Pont and Admiral David Farragut, Drayton contributed greatly to the ultimate success of the Union navy in its struggle to maintain the Union.
‘Farragut’s Captain’ tells the story of this fascinating figure in Civil War history, who until now has received scant attention despite his remarkable character. The son of a noted Jacksonian Unionist obliged to leave South Carolina many years before the war, Drayton was the embodiment of the romantic war between brothers. His elder brother Thomas was a Confederate general and the two even exchanged fire at the Battle of Port Royal in November 1861. Drayton was also an acknowledged expert in naval ordnance. He participated in joint operations with the Union army which contributed to the collapse of the slave system on the South Carolina coast. As Farragut’s flag captain, Drayton commanded the USS Hartford in its engagement with the mighty Confederate ironclad CSS Tennessee at the Battle of Mobile Bay.
Drayton was a highly literate and intelligent observer of the world around him and the people in it. Throughout the war he maintained a steady flow of correspondence to naval colleagues and friends. His letters provide a captivating insight into his service and into the personalities of many Civil War-era figures. His missives –and this biography –stand as a primary record of the war at sea between 1861 and 1865.