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Silhouettes of monitor classes, showing relative sizes of the original Monitor, the later monitor classes, including the Passaics, Tippecanoes, and Cascos, and Ericsson's original light-draft monitor concept. By the time the bids for the light-drafts were to be opened in late February 1863, Stimers had departed for Port Royal. In his absence, Fox wrote Ericsson about the light-drafts. The Navy, Fox said, presumed that Ericsson had furnished the plans and that Stimers had worked out...

Miserable Failures

Combat Lessons and Political Engineering The monitors' first significant combat experience came in 1863, revealing some strengths and a number of weaknesses. Their first fleet engagement was Rear Admiral Samuel F. Du Pont's unsuccessful attack on Charleston, and in its aftermath the monitors became a focal point of conflict. The controversy that followed Du Pont's failure colored the monitor program long past the end of the war. The aggressive orientation of the Union's ironclad program became...

Info

The Johns Hopkins University Press 2715 North Charles Street Baltimore, Maryland 21218-4363 www.press.jhu.edu Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Roberts, William H., 1950- Civil War ironclads the U.S. Navy and industrial mobilization William H. Roberts. p. cm. (Johns Hopkins studies in the history of technology) Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index. isbn 0-8018-6830-0 (hardcover acid-free paper) 1. Armored vessels United States History 19th century. 2. United...

Introduction

For thousands of years, warships were built of wood and powered by human muscles and the wind. Gunpowder carved the first niche for chemical energy and machine-made materials, but successfully mounting and using cannon aboard ship still required vast amounts of timber and muscle power. In the mid nineteenth century, however, naval warfare changed dramatically. The Crimean War produced halting steps toward mechanized combat at sea, but not until the American Civil War did a navy conduct a...

Mobilization on the Ohio River

Cincinnati's waterfront was busy in late 1862. Joseph Brown and McCord amp Junger had finished the wooden-hulled riverine ironclad Chillicothe in September, and were building the similar Tuscumbia and Indianola. As winter approached, both Greenwood and Swift were working hard to begin their monitors their experiences illuminate the problems faced at one time or another by all of the monitor builders. Greenwood had rented John Litherbury's boatyard as a construction site. It was little more than...