Monday, March 30, 2015

USS Powhatan (Steam Sloop of War)

USS Powhatan
was a side-wheel steam sloop of war.  She was commissioned in 1850.  The ship displaced 3,825 tons, and her dimensions were, 250 ft. long and 45 ft. wide.  She was considered  to be a fairly large ship for her day.  Powhatan's armament consisted of:
>> ten 9inch Dahlgren guns in her broadside;
>> a single 11 inch Dahlgren gun on a pivot, 
>> five smaller 24 pdr. cannon.
Powhatan's steam engines were constructed by Mehaffy and Company of Gosport, Virginia,  The vessel cost $785,000. 

Hotchkiss Map of the Battle of Port Republic

The Topographical map of the Battle of Port Republic, June 9, 1862, from the Hotchkiss Collection. (LOC)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

USS - CSS Queen of the West # 3 of 3

USS - CSS Queeen of the West # 3 of 3
406 ton, sidewheel steam-powered cotton-clad ram, 181 ft. long,  She was
originally built in Cinncinati, Ohio in 1854.  She played an important
role in June 1862 at the Battle of Memphis.  On the 15th and 22nd of
June, in that year, she was twice engaged with the ironclad CSS Arkansas.
On the 2nd of February, 1863 she attacked the Confederate steamer
"CSS City of Vicksburg" under the guns of the Vicksburg fortress.  She
used combustable balls soaked in turpentine.  The above picture; the
original illustration of the 'Queen' underway, is from "The History of
the Confederate States Navy" by J Thomas Scharf.  Page created and
maintained by Gary P. Priolo.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

USS -- CSS Ram, Queen of the West, Sheet 2 of 3

"USS Ram, Queen of the West" -- Photo NH61917-KN watercolor. "USS Ram, Queen of the West" (1862).
In Feb, 1863 she was sunk off Fort de Russy, Red River. The ship was raised and repaired for the Confederate Navy, and afterwards became the "CSS Queen of the West."  Later with the "CSS Webb", the 'Queen' forced the "USS Indianola" aground and captured it near the mouth of the Red River.  On April 14, 1863, in Grand Lake, the 'Queen' was attacked by three Union gunboats ["USS Estrella, Calhoun, and Arizona] and set afire by long-range incindiary  shells and sunk.  The above sketch (original) by Mr. McCullagh ("Harper's Weekly" -- 21 March, 1863 -Operating on the Red River, Louisiana, 14 Feruary, 1863, as a US Ram, Gunboat.) -- {Wikipedia Foundation Inc.}  Sheet 2 of 3

"CSS Georgia"

"CSS Georgia" was a screw steamer of the Confederate States Navy, acquired in 1863, and captured by the Union Navy in 1864.  The Confederate States Government purchased the above ship at Dumbarton, Scotland in March, 1863.  On April 1, the ship departed Greenock, reputedly bound for the East Indies carrying a crew of fifty who had  shipped for a voyage to Singapore.  The, soon to become a Confederate cruiser, rendevouzed with the steamer "Alar" off Ushant, France, and took on guns, ordnance, and other stores.  On April 9, 1863 the Confederate flag was hoisted and the "CSS Georgia" was placed in commission.  Displacement, 600 tons; Propulsion, steam engine and sails; Armament, 2x100 pdr. cannon, 2x24 pdr. cannon, 1x32 pdr. cannon; Length 272 ft. (65m); Beam, 27 ft. (8.2m); Depth of hold, 13ft. 9 in. (4.19m).   Wikimedia Foundation Inc. -- original artist, James M. Morgan.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"USS Malvern" Sheet 2 of 2

"USS Malvern" Drawing #2
Artwork by Erik Heyl - photo # NH 63855 - US Navy Dept.

"USS Malvern" was assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
She became the flagship of Admiral David Dixon Porter.  She participated
in the campaign that resulted in the capture of Fort Fisher, North Carolina
 by Union forces in December, 1864 and January, 1865.  She captured
blockade-running steamers "Stag" and "Charlotte" 19 January off New Inlet,
North Carolina, and participated in the attack on Fort Anderson, Cape
Fear River.  Her last notable service for the Navy was to convey the President
up the James River to Richmond, Virginia, when that city was evacuated
by the Confederates, 2 April, 1865.  "USS Malvern" was decommissioned
24 October 1865 at New York City.
Wikipedia Foundation Inc.     

"USS Malvern" Sheet 1 of 2

"USS Malvern" Sheet 1 of 2
Built as "William W. Hewes" in 1860 for Charles Morgan's Southern Steamship
Co., Wilmington Delaware, and commenced service between New York
and New Orleans, Louisiana, 11 January 1861.  The "W. G. Hewes" was seized
 by the Governor of Louisiana and put into immediate service as a
Confederate Blockade- Runner.  When Admiral Farragut captured
 New Orleans, "Hewes" was shifted in her operations to Charleston and
 Wilmington, N.C..  In 1863 she was renamed "Ella and Annie" and renewed
blockade running to Bermuda.  She was intercepted by the "USS Niphon"
off New Inlet, N.C.  "Niphon" captured  the "Ella and Annie" and took
her to Boston with a prize crew.  Here she was hastily sold to the Navy,
armed, renamed "USS Malvern," provisionally commissioned at
 Boston Navy Yard,  10 December and immediately sent to sea to intercept
the, "Chesapeake".  The"Chesapeake" was found abandoned, taken to
Halifax, Nova Scotia, and there turned over to the British authorities.  The
"USS Malvern" was formally commissioned 9 February, 1864 at the
Boston Navy Yard.  General Characteristics; Displacement,
1,477 tons; Length, 239 ft. 4in. (72.95m); Beam, 33 ft. (10m); Draft, 10Ft.
(3.0 m); Propulsion, Steam Engine.
Wickipedia Foundation Inc.    

"CSS Nashville"

"CSS Nashville"
Originally a Mail Service ship ("USMS Nashville); a brig-rigged
side-paddle-wheel passenger steamer built at Greenport, Brooklyn
in 1853.  Displacement, 1, 221 long tons (1, 241t); Armament,
2x12 pdrs (5kg) cannons; Length, 215 ft. 6 in. (65.68m);
Draft, 21 ft. 9in. (6.63m); Propulsion, Sails and Steam Engine.
Wikipedia Foundation Inc.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

"The Queen of the West" Sheet 1 of 3

"The Queen of the West:"( Converted Paddle-Wheeler) engages the "CSS
Vicksburg" in battle on the Mississippi, February 2, 1863.  After ramming
and firing incendiary projectiles into the Vicksburg under the fortress of
Drumgolds Bluff, the Queen was caught in the conflagration and
 forced to withdraw downstream fighting fires in the bow and near her
starboard wheel. (Sheet 1 of 3)
Redrawn by Ian McKay, BG, CS, CE, TE
Courtesy of the Virginia Historical Society 

"USS Pawnee"

The 15-gun steam sloop "USS Pawnee" with 349 men of the 3rd Massachusetts
Volunteers aboard, was almost fired upon by another ship as she entered
the Gosport Navy Yard.  Built during the 1850s at the Philadelphia Navy Yard by
John W. Griffiths, the ship was designed with a set of twin screw propellors and
9-inch Dahlgren guns which added considerable weight to the ship. >>
National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the Bureau of Ships. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

James River Operations, May-June 1864

Siege of Port Hudson

Battle of Porrt Hudson, Page two

Battle of Port Hudson

The map shows the Union Navy engaging in it's first attempt to
pass Port Hudson.  The two lead ships got past the Confederate
artillery batteries (USS Hartford and the Albatross).  The remainder of the
 squadron was either forced down river or sunk (see page two).

CSS Planter

CSS Planter:
Steam powered, Planter was a wooden, wood burning, side-wheel steamer.
She had two non-condensing engines with a six foot (1.8m) stroke.
Planter displaced 313 tons (284 tonnes).  Her measurements were
147 ft x 30 ft x 3ft. 9in. (45m x 9.1m x 1.14m).  She was armed with one
long 32 pdr. gun and one short 24 pdr howitzer.  Redrawn, Ian McKay, BG,

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Bailey's Dams

Bailey's Dams: Admiral Porter had his 10 warships, now below the Lower
Falls on the Red River, thanks to Lt. Col. Bailey of the Federal Engineers.
 The ships rescued from low water on the river were the ; Neosho,
Osage, Hindman, and finally on May 11 & 12 the remaining warships
 and gunboats; Mound City, Pittsburg, Carondolet, Chillicothe, Louisville,
 and Ozark.

Engineer Bailey recieved for this success, a personal $700 sword from Admiral
 Porter, a $1600 silver vase from the Navy, a special vote of thanks from
Congress, and later a two step promotion to Brigadier General.

Admiral Porter said of the former Wisconsin logger in his report, "words are
inadequate to express the admiration I feel for the abilities of Lt. Col. Bailey.
This is without a doubt the best engineering feat ever performed.  Under the
best circumstnces a private company would not have completed the work
in under a year, and to an ordinary mind the whole thing would have appeared
an utter impossibility."

Reference: S. Foote, "Civil War, Red River To Appomattox (Vintage Books - 1974)

Antiedam Ironworks

The furnace Stack and Surrounding Buildings at the Antiedam Ironworks.
Note the canal at the bottom of the drawing.
Reference: National Park Service

The Attack on Vicksburg, June 28, 1862

Gen. U. S. Grant invested Vicksburg from the South and East together
with Gen. Sherman from the North on May 18, 1863.  On July 4th  the
Confederate forces surrendered.  Admiral Porters fleet had run downriver
past Vicksburg on April 16, 1863.

US Naval Squadron; Katahdin,
Kennebec, Brooklyn, Pinola, Winona, F. S. Hartford, Sciota, Wissahickon,
Richmond, Onieda, Iroquois, and the large mortar flotilla. 

Forts Below New Orleans

Running the forts below New Orleans, April 24, 1862;
16, 800 mortar shells were fired at both forts.  Admiral Farragut's plan was to 
divide his naval force into three sections; 1st Div. (red), 2nd Div. (Blue - Center), 
3rd Div. Red-Blue.  Major ships by Division -- Red; USS Cayuga, USS Pensecola,
USS Mississippi, USS Varuna, USS Oneida, plus three gunboats-- 
Blue; USS Hartford, USS Brooklyn, USS Richmond -- Red-Blue; 
USS Iroquois and five gunboats.  These ships were met 
with the Confederate naval forces, plus CSS Manassus and Governor Moore.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Battle of Seven Pines

Battle of Seven Pines - (Fair Oaks) -- Heavy losses to both sides, added to the
 conflicts and unfortunately contributed heavily to the determination of
this battle as "the worst-conducted large scale conflict of the war."  Gen.
Johnston was badly wounded and was replaced by Gen. Lee.

Battle of Cross Keys

The Battle of Cross Keys; Gen. Jackson's forces grouped around the hamlet
of Cross Keys.  Gen. Ewell was positioned to stop the Union advance under
Gen. Fremont, while Jackson stopped the Union Forces under Gen. Shields in
the streets of Cross Keys.  Union losses were 684 men, nearly one-half of
them dead, while Confederate losses were 288 wounded, and 4 dead. 

Battles of Forts Henry and Donelson, February, 1862

Union Campaign Against Island #10

De Witt Clinton Train

The De Witt Clinton train, Schenectady, New York, 

Attack on Roanoke Island

Union Operations against Roanoke Island, February 7-8, 1862, 13,000
troops and 80 vessels, 3 divisions of soldiers under three US brigadiers, J. G.
Foster, Jessee L. Reno, and John G. Parks, all under the command of Gen.
Burnside.  The naval force of sixteen gunboats was under the command
of Rear Admiral L. M. Goldsborough.  These gunboats protected the armie's
 flank while they were landing ashore, on Roanoke Island
 and defeated the Confederate fleet of eight gunboats.
The piles and sunken vessels that was intended to
interrupt any attacking naval force had not been completed. 

Sinkng of the "USS Varuna"

The sinking of the "USS Varuna" by the Confederate gunboats " CSS J. C. Breckenridge"
 and the "CSS Governor Moore," April 24, 1862.  The 'Breckenridge' on the left (above) 
rams the 'Varuna' while the 'Moore' on the right, prepares to ram her other side. 
(From, 'Frank Leslie's, Illustrated Hstory of the Civil War.)