When the Southern Lights Went Dark


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When the Southern Lights Went Dark: The Lighthouse Establishment During the Civil War

Written by Mary Louise Clifford from research completed by her late daughter, J. Candace Clifford.

The Confederacy extinguished the lights in all the lighthouses it controlled long before any shots were fired at Fort Sumter. When the Southern Lights Went Dark: The Lighthouse Establishment During the Civil War tells the story of the men who assumed the daunting task of finding the lenses and lamps, repairing deliberate destruction to the towers and lightships, and relighting them as soon as the Navy could afford their protection. From Cape Hatteras to Ocracoke Light, Jupiter Inlet to Tybee Island, St. Simons to Cockspur Island and others, these are the stories from a unique era in United States lighthouse history.
Unlike in peace time, when military officers filled the posts of engineer and inspector in each lighthouse district, civilians had to be found who were not only talented enough to build and maintain lighthouses, but who also could supervise a party of workmen and make decisions on their own. Those men in the field had to find keepers, see that they were paid, and ensure they had food, water, and essential supplies. The Lighthouse Board was far away in Washington and could do little more than give advice, order needed equipment, record the dispatches from the field, and pay the bills it received. Soft cover, 432 pages.

Due to Covid-19, this book has been delayed. This book is now scheduled to be released in October 2023  (original date was May 1st, 2020 then delayed later to March 2021, June of 2021, February 2022, and February 2023, October 2023). The book is finally printing and shipping to us. We should have the book by mid-October 2023.