Craig Symonds

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Craig L. Symonds
Dr. Craig Symonds at The Mariners Museum Newport News (VA) 2012 (8080270959).jpg
Born (1946-12-31) December 31, 1946 (age 72)
Lincoln and His Admirals
Neptune: the Allied Invasion of Europe and the D-Day Landings
AwardsLincoln Prize for Lincoln and His Admirals
2015 recipient of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

Craig Lee Symonds (born 31 December 1946, in Long Beach, California) is the Distinguished Visiting Ernest J. King Professor of Maritime History for the academic years 2017-2019 at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. He is also Professor Emeritus at the U. S. Naval Academy where he served as chairman of the history department. He is a distinguished historian of the American Civil War and maritime history. His book Lincoln and His Admirals received the Lincoln Prize. His book Neptune: the Allied Invasion of Europe and the D-Day Landings was the 2015 recipient of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

The son of Lee and Virginia Symonds, Craig Symonds attended Anaheim High School then University of California, Los Angeles, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1967. Going on to graduate work, he obtained his M.A. in history at the University of Florida in 1969 with a thesis on "The defense of the southwestern frontier, 1784-1794: a study in governmental relations." He married Marylou Hayden on 17 January 1969 and the couple had one son. In 1971, Symonds joined the United States Naval Reserve, serving for three years until 1974 and raising to the grade of Lieutenant. While in the Navy, he served on the staff and faculty of the Naval War College. On his release from active duty, he returned to his graduate studies in history at the University of Florida, where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1976 under the tutelage of Professor John K. Mahon with a dissertation on "Navalists and antinavalists: the naval policy debate in the United States, 1785-1827."

Academic career[edit]

In 1976, the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland appointed Symonds assistant professor of history to succeed Professor E. B. Potter as a specialist in Naval history. He was subsequently promoted to associate professor in 1980 and professor of history in 1985. He served as chairman of the history department in 1988-1992 and appointed professor emeritus on his retirement in 2005.[2][3] In 1994-1995, he was visiting lecturer at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, England. He returned to teach at the Naval Academy as The Class of 1957 Distinguished Professor of American Naval Heritage for 2011-12. In 2017 he was appointed to a two-year term as the Ernest J. King Distinguished Visiting Professor of Maritime History at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport Rhode Island.


Published works[edit]

  • Charleston Blockade: The Journals of John B. Marchand, USN, edited by Craig Symonds. (Newport, RI: Naval War College Press, 1976.
  • Navalists and Antinavalists: The Naval Policy Debate in the United States, 1785-1827. (University of Delaware Press, 1980).
  • New Aspects of Naval History, edited by Craig Symonds. (Annaplis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1981).
  • A Battlefield Atlas of the Civil War. (Annapolis, MD: Nautical and Aviation Press, 1983). ISBN 9780933852495
  • William H. Parker (1985). Craig Symonds (ed.). Recollections of a Naval Officer, 1841-1865. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-533-9.
  • A Battlefield Atlas of the American Revolution. (Annapolis, MD: Nautical and Aviation Press, 1986).
  • Alvah F. Hunter (1987). Craig Symonds (ed.). A Year on a Monitor. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0-87249-761-0. (reprint 1991)
  • Joseph E. Johnston: A Civil War Biography. New York: Norton. 1992. ISBN 978-0-393-31130-3.
  • Gettysburg: A Battlefield Atlas, by Craig Symonds with William J. Clipson. (Annapolis, MD: Nautical and Aviation, 1992).
  • The Naval Institute Historical Atlas of the U.S. Navy. Illustrator William J. Clipson. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. 1995. ISBN 978-1-55750-984-0.CS1 maint: others (link)
  • Stonewall of the West: Patrick Cleburne and the Civil War. (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1997).
  • Confederate Admiral: The Life and Wars of Franklin Buchanan. (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1999). ISBN 9781591148463
  • American Heritage History of the Battle of Gettysburg. New York: HarperCollins. 2001. ISBN 978-0-06-054933-6.
  • New Interpretations in Naval History: Selected Papers from the Fourteenth Naval History Symposium, Held at Annapolis, Maryland, 23–25 September 1999, Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 2001.
  • Decision at Sea: Five Naval Battles That Shaped American History. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005. ISBN 978-0-19-531211-9.
  • Lincoln and his Admirals. New York: Oxford University Press. 2008. ISBN 978-0-19-531022-1.
  • The Battle of Midway. New York: Oxford University Press. 2011. ISBN 978-0-19-539793-2.
  • The Civil War at Sea. New York: Oxford University Press. 2012. ISBN 0199931682.
  • Neptune: The Allied Invasion of Europe and the D-Day Landings. Oxford University Press. 2014. ISBN 0199986118.
  • World War Two at Sea: A Global History. Oxford University Press. 2018. ISBN 9780190243678.


  1. ^ Marquis Who's Who in America, 2016
  2. ^ "History News Network - Craig Symonds: Sea battle book earns prize for professor".
  3. ^ "Smithsonian Civil War Studies: Seminar Review - Ten At Gettysburg, by Craig L. Symonds; Reviewed by Antigoni Ladd".
  4. ^ "Neptune by Craig L. Symonds - 2015 Samuel Eliot Morison Award For Naval Literature". Naval Order of the United States. September 14, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  5. ^ David F. Winkler, "Naval Historians to Receive Knox Award," Pull Together (Volume 53 No. 3 - Summer 2014) / Daybook (Volume 17 Issue 3), p. 12.
  6. ^ "Real Estate".

External links[edit]