The Winnebago Class Milwaukee Winnebago Kickapoo And Chickasaw

In May, 1862, shortly after contracting for the Osage and the Neosho, the Navy Department awarded contracts for four more shallowdraft monitors. These were to be double-turreted, screw driven rather than by paddle wheel, carrying four 11-inch guns. The first two were to be built by Eads, the Kickapoo by G. B. Allen and Company of St. Louis, and the Chickasaw by Thomas G. Gaylord of Cincinnati. Eads's turret design, which he had submitted for use on the Osage and the Neosho, was now accepted by...

The Keokuk

The Keokuk in many ways represents the complete antithesis of the Monitor concept. One is tempted to wonder what would have been the result if the Keokuk had been selected as a prototype instead of the Monitor. Just possibly she might have survived an encounter with the CSS Virginia, and had a fleet of Keokuks been sent out against the Confederates . . . Whereas the hull of the Monitor was low and flat, that of the Keokuk was high and sloping instead of one heavily armored rotating turret with...

The New Ironsides

The same board of officers which took the momentous step of recommending the construction of the Monitor also recommended the acceptance of two other designs that of the Galena, which was a failure, and that of the New Ironsides which, practically speaking, was a complete success. The design of the New Ironsides was based wholly on that of the French Gloire and the British Warrior solid, conventional construction of wood, conventional rigging and engines, armor amidships protecting the guns and...

Ironclads in the United States Navy

At the outbreak of the war in 1861, there was not a single ironclad of any description in the United States Navy. There was, to be sure, the fantastic Stevens Battery, a truly enormous vessel 420 feet long and displacing more than 6,000 tons, which had been authorized in 1842 and, after several false starts, had been on the stocks since 1854. The death of its builder, Robert L. Stevens, in 1856, had brought construction to a halt, and the ship had remained in a half-finished condition at...

The Miantonomohclass Miantonomoh Monadnock Tonawanda And Agamenticus

Four other double-turret monitors were laid down in 1862. These ships carried four 15-inch Dahlgrens and were somewhat larger than the Onondaga 257 feet long, 52-foot beam, and a 21-foot draft. Only one of these ships, the Monadnock was completed in time to see any service in the war. The Miantonomoh, completed in the fall of 1865, made a voyage to Europe in 1866, the first monitor ever to do so. This proof of the monitor's seaworthiness made a considerable impression on European navy people...

The Roanoke

In April of 1855 Congress authorized the construction of six first class steam frigates to be provided with screw propellers. These ships were superior to any warship in the world when they were completed the following year and were admired and copied by European navies. For five years they reigned supreme, and then, with the coming of the ironclad, their type was outmoded forever. One of these frigates was the Merrimack. The story of her burning at Norfolk and her rebirth as the CSS Virginia...

The Tinclads

In the fall and winter of 1862, approximately 20 vessels of a new type were added to the river fleet the so-called tinclads. These were small river steamers, usually stern-wheelers, purchased in the cities along the river, sometimes by the War Department and sometimes by the Navy. They were armored with 1 2 to 3 4 of an inch of iron, with extra protection around the boilers, and they often carried an armored pilothouse. The sides were pierced to accommodate from 4 to 6 guns, usually 24-pound...

The Mississippi River Ironclads

The Monitor and its sisters belong to the main current of naval development. Even if they had never fired a shot in anger, they still would occupy a significant place in the history of ships. This is not the case with the ironclad gunboats built for the Mississippi Flotilla. On the whole, these ships were rather badly designed some were hardly designed at all. They came into being almost effortlessly, or so it seemed, and exactly when they were needed. With the war won, they were quickly...