Manpower

Battle Mine Creek

Before the war, the Mississippi River and its tributaries made up a bustling system of waterways, linking river ports as far north as Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with thriving markets downstream. The Missouri River branched westwards through Kansas, while other tributaries covered much of the Southern states which bordered the great river. Within days of the sucession of Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, access south of the Kentucky state line was denied...

The Mississippi Theater

War Department Theaters

At the outbreak of the Civil War, both sides were largely unprepared for the conflict. This lack of readiness was most apparent in the two navies the Union lleet was scattered across the globe and the Confederate Navy had not yet come into being. From the start. President Lincoln and his Secretary < > l the Navy, Cideon Welles, both supported the adoption of a broad strategy, outlined by General Winfield Scott. His strategy, nicknamed the Anaconda plan, envisioned the blockade and...

Ordnance

There was no typical armament for a Mississippi River gunboat during the war. While many were armed with large smoothbore weapons such as 24-pounders and 32-pounders, rifled guns were also widely used, as were small howitzers. Occasionally, some gunboats carried larger pieces, such as the 130-pounder rifle. In 1845 the US Navy had adopted the 32-pounder smoothbore as its standard gun type, designed to augment larger shell guns (64-pounder, 8-inch pieces, introduced in limited numbers in 1841)...

Confederate Gunboats

Civil War River Gunboats

The struggle lot the Mississippi River was the longest, most challenging and diverse campaign of the Civil War. It involved the widespread use of ironclads, steam-.powered gunboats, modern fortifications, amphibious riverine landings, and the employment of mines. All of these were new, relatively untested instruments of war. Not only would iliis new form of warfare dominate the struggle for the spine of America, but the struggle would take place on a hitherto unimaginable geographical scale....

The Rams

Uss Vindicator

In 1861 Charles Rivers Ellet, Jr., was a civil engineer with experience in the building of bridges and dams. During the Crimean War 1854 56 , he traveled to Russia as an observer, and had become convinced that the ram used by he warships of antiquity could be adapted. By using steam power, it could become a viable modern naval weapon. He convinced the Union War Department of the worth of his idea and, in early 1862, he was made a colonel, with orders to create a ram flotilla, which would join...

The New Orleans Squadron

Mississippi River Boat 1863

In the summer and fall of 1861 shipyards in and around New Orleans converted or laid down a small flotilla of warships, both wooden gunboats and ironclads. These included two floating batteries, three ironclads and numerous river gunboats, or converted ocean-going steamers. A fleet of 10 wooden warships including three tugs was ready to contest the attack on the defenses below New Orleans by Commodore David G. Farragut's Western Gulf Blockading Squadron on April 24, 1862. In addition, two...

Index

Figure in bold 11'In in illustrations Auamiida Plan. ir I lifcmw. CSS f. 3. iii. 17 armament I'.' mfcdcrale im'k I V I I. Ii. 2 . Ii. lu Dahinten guns '. 0. 20 uble . 21 tiuwil cis 19, 21 tablet i.uns 8. I. 2 1 lilled 2 1. 2l lt lablcl II smuolllboic Hl. 2A table linibetil.ids 7-X II. 17 lim 1.1 1 i gt . HM I. 47 IHK 12 .iiilinr tiillon B. I I, 15, In Ii In Iunhcrrlads Ii tinelads lt M0 vmffr. I SS 9, 36-J7 lablc Ilmton. CSS US. SI. Si Bishop. Main oshua. ISN Ii ik llnwk. I SS l'urmerlv ihr...

The Union River Fleet

Gunboat Uss Tyler Images

Ends, of St Louis, has proposed tis a means ofdefense the employment of the bouts owned by the wrecking company of which he is a member, and has advised that said boats be taken by the Government and properly armed and equipped for that service It is ordered that the subject be referred to General McCtellan, who will consult with Mr. Each and with such naval officer as the Navy Department may send out for thai purpose, and then, as he shall find best, lake order Jor the proper...

Gunboats in Action

Tinclad Gunboat

When the war began, nobody who was given command of a wooden gunboat on the Mississippi River knew what to expect when his vessel went into action. Although experienced naval officers had read the latest theoretical treatises and kept abreast of the latest developments in naval and ordnance technology, the effect of shell guns, steam engines and even armor cladding were largely untested when the war began. Similarly, the introduction of the ram was an unknown quantity. The gunboat captains 011...

Tinclads

Tinclad River Gunboat Photo

It soon became apparent that the Union needed more than a few powerful ironclads and rams on the Mississippi. While the principal units of the River Flotilla were occupied in the seizure or bombardment of Confederate shore positions or the destruction of enemy warships, other river gunboats were needed to patrol the hundreds of miles of rivers which led through occupied territory. Their roles were to escort supply boats and troop transports, to patrol for signs of enemy activity, or to act as...

The Timberclads

Timberclad Conestoga

Eads submitted a proposal to build a flotilla designed to wrest control of the Mississippi River from ihe Confederates, he was echoing the call by General Winfield Scott to make the river a major focal point of Union strategy. Eads was a successful St Louis businessman, and experienced in riverboat construction. The Navy was hard-pressed just to establish a blockade around the Confederate coastline, so the matter was passed to the War Department, which ran the US Army. What the...

Ship List Confederate

Uss General Bragg

CSS Confederate States Ship LSNS Louisiana State Navy Ship OTHER CONFEDERATE GUNBOATS OPERATING ON THE MISSISSIPPI Sunk following heavy damage in action, April 1862 Destroyed to prevent capture, April 1862 Destroyed to prevent capture. April 1862 Destroyed to prevent capture. April 1862 Destroyed to prevent capture, April 1862 Destroyed to prevent capture, April 1862 Destroyed to prevent capture. April 1862 Damaged and abandoned. April 1862 salvaged, and used as a Union transport Destroyed to...

Mississippi River Gunboats of the American Civil War 186165

Civil War Gunboat

Angus Konstam Illustrated by Tony Bryan First published in Great Britain in 2002 by Osprey Publishing. Elms Court. Chapel Way, Botley. Oxford 0X2 9LP, United Kingdom. Email infaiiospreypublishing.com AJI rights reserved. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright. Designs and Patents Act. 1988, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means,...