Summary

Lieut Confederate States Navy. Served on Board CSS Arkansas, CSS Chicora and USS Neuse

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12 Nov 1842 1
Death:
14 May 1915 1
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Full Name:
Richard Hays Bacot 1
Birth:
12 Nov 1842 1
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Death:
14 May 1915 1
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Burial Place: Inglewood Park Cemetery Inglewood Los Angeles County California, USA Plot: A Plot, GAR Section 1

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CSS Neuse

CSS Neuse From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search CSS Neuse   Career Namesake: Neuse River Builder: Howard and Ellis, Kinston, North Carolina Launched: November 1863 Commissioned: April 1864 Fate: Burned to prevent capture, March 1865 General characteristics Type: Ironclad ram Length: 152 ft (46 m) Beam: 34 ft (10 m) Draft: 9 ft (2.7 m) Armament: 2 × 6.4 in (160 mm) Brooke rifles CSS Neuse (Ironclad Gunboat) U.S. National Register of Historic Places Nearest city: Kinston, North Carolina Coordinates: 35°16′1.33″N 77°37′17.8″WCoordinates: 35°16′1.33″N 77°37′17.8″W Area: 0.3 acres (0.12 ha) Built: 1865 Architect: Confederate Navy Dept.; Howard & Ellis Governing body: State NRHP Reference#: 00000444[1] Added to NRHP: June 11, 2001

CSS Neuse was a steam-powered ironclad ram of the Confederate States Navy that served in the latter part the American Civil War and was eventually scuttled to avoid capture by rapidly advancing Union Army forces. In the early 1960s, she produced approximately 15,000 artifacts from her raised lower hull, the largest number ever found on a recovered Confederate vessel. The remains of her lower hull and a selection of her artifacts are on exhibit in Kinston, North Carolina at the CSS Neuse State Historic Site and Governor Caswell Memorial. The ironclad is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[1]

Contents Construction

A contract for the construction of Neuse was signed on 17 October 1862 between the shipbuilding company of Thomas Howard and Elijah Ellis and the Confederate Navy. Work began in October of that year on the bank across the Neuse River (her namesake) from the small village of Whitehall, North Carolina (present day Seven Springs). The gunboat's design was virtually identical to her sister ironclad CSS Albemarle, but Neuse differed from Albemarle by having four additional gun ports added (for a total of ten) to her eight-sided armored casemate. The hull was 158 feet (48 m) long by 34 feet (10 m) wide, and she was constructed mostly of locally abundant pine, with some 4 inches (100 mm) of oak used as sturdy backing for her 4-inch-thick (100 mm) wrought iron armor. Many delays in construction were incurred by a lack of available materials, mostly the iron plate for her armored casemate and deck; her deck armor was finally left off so the ironclad could be completed and put in service. Due to continuing iron plate shortages, Neuse became the first of several Southern ironclads built with unarmored decks. This situation was compounded by the Confederate Army exercising priority over the Navy in the use of the South's inadequate railroad system for transporting vital war materiel.

Ordnance and projectiles

Neuse was equipped with two 6.4-inch (160 mm) Brooke rifled cannon (similar to a Parrott rifle); each double-banded cannon weighed more than 12,000 pounds (5,400 kg) with its pivot carriage and other attached hardware. Both cannons were positioned along the ironclad's center-line in the armored casemate, one forward, the other aft. The field of fire for both pivot rifles was 180-degrees, from port to starboard: Each cannon could fire from one of five gun port positions or could deliver a two cannon broadside. Neuse's projectiles consisted of explosive shells, anti-personnel canister shot, grape shot, and blunt-nosed, solid wrought iron "bolts" for use against Union armored ships; many examples of all four types were recovered from her raised wreck.

Service and post-war history

Launched in November 1863 while still needing fitting out, Neuse finally got up steam in April 1864 for duty on the inland waters of North Carolina as part of the force under Commander R. F. Pinkney, CSN. Shortly thereafter, the ironclad grounded off Kinston due to her mostly inexperienced crew, which had been conscripted from the Confederate Army; she remained fast in the mud for almost a month until finally being refloated. After that, due to a lack of available Confederate Army shore support, she never left the river area around Kinston, serving instead as a floating ironclad fortification. In March 1865, with Kinston under siege by Union forces, gunpowder trails were laid down which led to a cache of explosives placed in her bow; the crew then lit fires astern and amidships, and she was destroyed a short time later by fire, then a bow explosion. Neuse burned to just below her waterline and then sank into the river mud preventing capture by the rapidly advancing Union Army, commanded by Major General William Tecumseh Sherman. At some point following the war, her sunken hulk, lying in shallow river water and mud, was salvaged of its valuable metals: cannon, carriages and their fittings, anchors, iron ram, casemate armor, both propellers and their shafts, and her steam power plant. Whatever bits and pieces remained, including her projectiles, lay undisturbed in and around the wreck until Neuse was raised nearly a century later.

Ironclad recovery

After nearly a century, the remaining lower hull of the ironclad was discovered. She was raised in 1963, and approximately 15,000 shipboard artifacts were recovered and carefully cataloged. Neuse's hull was eventually installed beside the river at the Governor Caswell Memorial in Kinston.[2][3] The final resting site for Neuse and her artifacts will be in a climate-controlled building in downtown Kinston, opening during the summer or fall of 2013.[dated info][4][5][6]

There are currently only four recovered Civil War era ironclad wrecks, CSS Neuse, CSS Muscogee (also called CSS Jackson in some texts), USS Monitor, and USS Cairo; Cairo remains the only recovered ironclad wreck left partially exposed outdoors under cover in the sometimes brutal southern climate. Other Union and Confederate ironclad wreck sites are known but remain untouched. The successful Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley, which sank the Union blockading sloop-of-war USS Housatonic, was recovered and is undergoing extensive restoration and conservation.

Neuse II replica

A full-size replica of Neuse, called Neuse II, is on grounds display at a separate site in Kinston and contains a fitted-out interior that shows all shipboard details; it was constructed from 2002 through 2009 by volunteers. Neuse is the only Confederate ironclad that has a historic, full-size replica on display.

Replica of CSS Albemarle taken in 2003

Since April 2002 Neuse's sister ironclad, CSS Albemarle has had a 3⁄8 scale replica, 63 feet (19 m) long, at anchor near the Port O' Plymouth Museum in Plymouth, North Carolina. This ironclad replica is self-powered and capable of sailing on the river.

Notes
  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
  2. ^ "CSS Neuse & Gov. Caswell Memorial: A New Home". North Carolina Historic Sites. North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
  3. ^ "Moving the CSS Neuse A Question of Wood and Time". The Historical Marker Database. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
  4. ^ "Bidding Opportunities". NC Institute of Minority Economic Development. 24 February 2011. Retrieved 2012-090-07.
  5. ^ Anderson, David (29 October 2010). "Plans unveiled for CSS Neuse gunboat museum". Kinston Free Press. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
  6. ^ "YouTube Video:CSS Neuse Moved to Downtown Kinston, 06/23/12". North Carolina History Museum. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
References
  • Bright, Leslie S., Rowland, William H., and Bardon, James C. C.S.S. Neuse, A Question of Iron and Time. Division of Archives and History, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Raleigh, NC. 1981. ISBN 0-86526-187-3.
  • Campbell, R. Thomas. Southern Thunder: Exploits of the Confederate States Navy, White Maine Publishing, 1996. ISBN 1-57249-029-2.
  • Campbell, R. Thomas. Southern Fire: Exploits of the Confederate States Navy, White Maine Publishing, 1997. ISBN 1-57249-046-2.
  • Campbell, R. Thomas. Fire and Thunder: Exploits of the Confederate States Navy, White Maine Publishing, 1997. ISBN 1-57249-067-5.
  • Silverstone, Paul H. (2006). Civil War Navies 1855–1883. The U.S. Navy Warship Series. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-97870-X.
  • Still, William N., Jr. (1985). Iron Afloat: The Story of the Confederate Armorclads (Reprint of the 1971 ed.). Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 0-87249-454-3.

 

CSS Arkansas

CSS Arkansas From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search
CSS Arkansas in a period sepia wash drawing by R.G. Skerrett. From the U.S. Naval Historical Center Career Name: CSS Arkansas Namesake: State of Arkansas Ordered: 24 August 1861 Laid down: October 1861 Launched: 24 April 1862 Fate: scuttled by crew 6 August 1862 General characteristics Displacement: approximately 800 tons Length: 165 ft (50 m) Beam: 35 ft (11 m) Draft: 11.5 ft (3.5 m) Speed: 8 knots Complement: 232 officers and men Armament: Total of 10 guns (3 on broadside, and 2 forward and 2 aft). Cast Iron Ram at the bow
2 x 8 in (203 mm) Columbiads in bow ports, 2 x 6.4 in (163 mm) Brooke Rifles in stern ports
2 x 6.4 in (163 mm) Brooke Rifles, 2 x 8 in (203 mm) Dahlgren smoothbores and 2 x 32 lb (15 kg) smoothbores in broadside ports. Armor: Casemate: railroad iron over wood and compressed cotton. Pilothouse: 2 inches (51 mm). Top: 1 inch (25 mm). Stern: boiler iron only

The CSS Arkansas was a Confederate Ironclad warship which served during the American Civil War in the Western Theater. Arkansas ran through a U.S. Navy fleet at Vicksburg, Mississippi, on 15 July 1862, in a celebrated action in which she inflicted more damage than she received. She was later destroyed by her crew to prevent capture by Union forces.

Contents History Construction

Her keel was laid down at Memphis, Tennessee, by J.T. Shirley in October 1861.[1] In April 1862, Arkansas was removed to Greenwood, Mississippi on the Yazoo River to prevent her capture when Memphis fell to the Union Navy. Her sister ship, CSS Tennessee, was burned on the stocks because she was not near enough to completion to be launched.[2]

In May 1862 Capt. Isaac N. Brown of the Confederate States Navy received orders at Vicksburg from the Navy Department in Richmond, Virginia, to proceed to Greenwood, and there assume command of the Arkansas. His orders were to finish and equip the vessel. When Captain Brown arrived, he found a mere hull, without armor, engines in pieces, and guns without carriages. Supplies of railroad iron, intended as armor for the ship, were lying at the bottom of the river. A recovery mission was ordered, and the armor was pulled up out of the mud. Captain Brown then had the Arkansas towed to Yazoo City, where he pressed into service local craftsmen, and also got the assistance of 200 soldiers from the Confederate Army as construction crews.[3] After five strenuous weeks of labor under the hot summer sun, the ship had to leave due to falling river levels. She had been fully outfitted, except for the curved armor intended to surround her stern and pilot house. Boiler plate was stuck on these areas "for appearances' sake".

Breaking through to Vicksburg

During this time, the Federal Navy had attacked Vicksburg with a large force made up of a squadron of ships, under Flag Officer David G. Farragut, that had come up from the Gulf of Mexico and a flotilla of United States Army gunboats and rams, under Flag Officer Charles H. Davis, from upriver.

Soon thereafter, General Earl Van Dorn, commanding the Confederate Army forces at Vicksburg, and as such in control of Arkansas, ordered Captain Brown to bring his ship down to the city. Brown filled out the crew of Arkansas with more than 100 sailors from vessels on the Mississippi, plus about 60 Missouri soldiers. These soldiers had never served big guns, and most of them had probably never even served aboard a ship before. Brown stated, "The only trouble they ever gave me was to keep them from running the Arkansas into the Union fleet before we were ready for battle." He then set sail for Vicksburg and the Union fleet.

After approximately 15 miles (24 km), it was discovered that steam from the boilers had leaked into the forward magazine and rendered the gunpowder wet and useless. Captain Brown and his men found a clearing along the bank of the Yazoo River, landed the wet powder and spread it out on tarpaulins in the sun to dry. With constant stirring and shaking the powder was dry enough to ignite by sundown. Arkansas proceeded on her way.[4]

CSS Arkansas running through the Union fleet above Vicksburg, Mississippi, 15 July 1862

Shortly after sunrise on 15 July 1862, three Federal vessels were sighted steaming towards Arkansas—the ironclad Carondelet, the wooden gunboat Tyler, and the ram Queen of the West. The Federal vessels turned downriver, and a running battle ensued. Carondelet was quickly disabled with a shot through her steering mechanism, causing her to run aground. Attention was turned to Tyler and the ram, which ran for their fleet with the Arkansas pursuing. Soon the Federal fleet came into view around the river bend above Vicksburg, "a forest of masts and smokestacks." Captain Brown determined to steam as close to the enemy vessels as possible in order to prevent his vessel being rammed and to sow confusion. The Federal ships were largely immobile, as they did not have their steam up. They and Arkansas exchanged shots at close range, but she soon passed to safety beyond them. Arkansas arrived at Vicksburg to the sound of enthusiastic cheering from the citizens and within sight of the lower Federal fleet.[5]

That night, Farragut's fleet ran past the batteries at Vicksburg and attempted to destroy Arkansas while doing so. They did not move until so late in the day, however, that they could not see their target. Only one shell hit home, killing two men and wounding three.[6]

Although Arkansas did not destroy any enemy vessels, she inflicted severe losses among the personnel of the Federal fleets. In the engagement on the Yazoo and her passage of the fleet at Vicksburg, their total loss was 18 killed, 50 wounded, and an additional 10 missing (probably drowned).[7] Farragut's fleet lost another 5 killed and 9 wounded when they ran past the Vicksburg batteries.[8] The cost to Arkansas for the entire day's action was 12 killed and 18 wounded.[9]

Under the Vicksburg bluffs

After repairs, the Arkansas again appeared to threaten her enemies, forcing them to keep up steam 24 hours a day in the hottest part of the summer. To remove the problem, the Union fleet tried once again to destroy the ironclad at her mooring. At this time, the severely reduced crew of Arkansas could man only three guns, so she depended for protection on the shore batteries. On the morning of 22 July, USS Essex, Queen of the West, and Sumter mounted an ill-coordinated attack. First Essex attempted to ram, but as she approached, the Arkansas crew were able to spring her. As a result, Essex missed her target and ran aground instead, where for ten minutes she remained under fire from both Arkansas and the shore batteries. The armor on Essex protected her crew, however, so she lost only one man killed and three wounded. On the other hand, one of her shots penetrated the iron plating on Arkansas, killing six and wounding six. When Essex worked off the bank, she continued downstream, where she joined Farragut's squadron.

Meanwhile, Queen of the West was making her run. Her captain misjudged her speed, so she ran past Arkansas and had to come back and ram upstream. Although she struck fairly, her reduced momentum meant that the collision did little damage. She then returned to the flotilla above the city. She had been riddled by shot from the batteries, but surprisingly suffered no serious casualties.

Farragut had already been pressing the Navy Department for permission to leave Vicksburg. It was clear that he would need assistance from the Army to capture the city, assistance that was not forthcoming. Sickness among his sailors, unacclimatised to the heat of summer in Mississippi, reduced their fighting strength by as much as a third. Furthermore, the annual drop in the level of the river threatened to strand his deep-draft ships. The constant vigilance now necessitated by the presence of Arkansas finally tipped the balance. He got permission to return to the vicinity of New Orleans, and on 24 June his fleet left.[10]

With nothing his flotilla could do, Davis also withdrew. He took his vessels back to Helena, Arkansas, where he could still watch the river north of Vicksburg.

Final fight at Baton Rouge Main article: Battle of Baton Rouge (1862)

With the Federal fleet gone, Captain Brown requested and was granted four days of leave, which he took in Grenada, Mississippi. Before leaving, he pointed out to General Van Dorn that the engines of his ship needed repairs before she could be used. He also gave positive orders to his executive officer, Lt. Henry K. Stevens, not to move her until he returned.

The USS Essex fires on the burning Arkansas

Unfortunately for the ship, Van Dorn disregarded his subordinate. He ordered Lt. Stevens to take Arkansas down to Baton Rouge, where she would support an attack on the Union position there by a Confederate Army force led by General John C. Breckinridge. Stevens demurred, citing his orders from Brown, and referred the question to "a senior officer of the Confederate navy." The "senior officer" chose not to intervene. Stevens, now under the orders of two superior officers, had to rush the ship down the river.[11]

Confirming Brown's fears, the engines broke down several times between Vicksburg and Baton Rouge. Each time, the engineer was able to get them running again, but it was clear that they were unreliable. Nevertheless, the ship was able to get all the way to Baton Rouge, where she prepared for battle with a small Federal flotilla that included her old opponent USS Essex. On the morning of 6 August, Essex came in sight, and Arkansas moved into the stream to meet her. Just at this time, crank pins on both engines failed almost simultaneously, and Arkansas drifted helplessly to the shore.

Stevens prepared to abandon ship. He ordered the engines to be broken up, the guns to be loaded and excess shells spread around, and then the ship set afire. The crew then left. About this time, the ship broke free and began to drift down the river, and Stevens, the last man to leave, had to swim ashore. The burning vessel drifted down among the attacking Federal fleet, which watched from a respectful distance. At about noon, Arkansas blew up.[12]

Current disposition

The Arkansas currently rests, aligned north/south, deep under a levee roughly 1.4 miles south of the auto/rail bridge just below Free Negro Point. The wreck is 690 feet past river mile 233.

Notes The Arkansas as it appeared to readers of the New York Tribune, July 31, 1862
  • Abbreviations used in these notes:
ORN I (Official records, Navies, series I): Official records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion
  1. ^ Still, Iron afloat, p. 62.
  2. ^ Soley, James Russell, "The Union and Confederate Navies," Battles and leaders, v. 1, p. 629.
  3. ^ Still, Iron afloat, p. 65.
  4. ^ Brown, Isaac N., "The Confederate gun-boat Arkansas", Battles and leaders,, v. 3, pp. 572–573.
  5. ^ Brown, Isaac N., "The Confederate gun-boat Arkansas", Battles and leaders, pp. 575–576.
  6. ^ Still, Iron afloat, p. 72.
  7. ^ ORN I, . 19, pp. 4, 7.
  8. ^ ORN I, v. 19, p. 8.
  9. ^ ORN I, v. 19, p. 69. The list of wounded is obviously incomplete; Brown himself is not listed, although he is known to have suffered a head wound.
  10. ^ Still, Iron afloat, pp. 74–75.
  11. ^ The "senior officer" was Flag Officer William F. Lynch. Brown did not forgive Lynch for his witless acquiescence to Van Dorn, and pointedly refused even to name him when he wrote his memoir years later. Brown, Isaac N., "The Confederate gun-boat Arkansas", Battles and leaders, v. 3, p. 579.
  12. ^ Still, Iron afloat,, pp. 76–78. The motions of Arkansas just before the final breakdown of her engines are not clear. See Still's note on page 77.
References
  • Silverstone, Paul H. (2006). Civil War Navies 1855–1883. The U.S. Navy Warship Series. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-97870-X.
  • Still, William N., Jr. (1985). Iron Afloat: The Story of the Confederate Armorclads (Reprint of the 1971 ed.). Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 0-87249-454-3.
  • Official records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Series I: 27 volumes. Series II: 3 volumes. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1894-1922. See particularly Series I, volume 19, pages 3–75.

 

CSS Chicora

CSS Chicora From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Career Name: CSS Chicora Ordered: 1862 Laid down: March 1862 Commissioned: November 1862 Decommissioned: February 18, 1865 Fate: Burned to prevent capture General characteristics Displacement: approximately 850 tons Length: 172.5 ft (52.6 m) Beam: 35 ft (11 m) Draft: 14 ft (4.3 m) Propulsion: Steam engine Speed: 5 knots Complement: 150 officers and men Armament: 2 9-inch smoothbores, 4 6-inch 32pdr muzzle loading rifles

CSS Chicora was a Confederate ironclad ram that fought in the American Civil War. She was built under contract at Charleston, South Carolina in 1862. James M. Eason built her to John L. Porter's plans, using up most of a $300,000 State appropriation for construction of marine batteries; Eason received a bonus for "skill and promptitude." Her iron shield was 4" thick, backed by 22" of oak and pine, with 2-inch armor at her ends. Keeled in March, she was commissioned in November, Commander John Randolph Tucker, CSN assuming command.

In thick, predawn haze on January 31, 1863, Chicora and CSS Palmetto State raided the Federal blockading force of unarmored ships lying just outside the entrance to Charleston Harbor. With ram and gun, Palmetto State forced USS Mercedita to surrender, then disabled USS Keystone State, who had to be towed to safety. Chicora meanwhile engaged other Union ships in a long-range gun duel, from which she emerged unscathed to withdraw victoriously to shelter inside the harbor.

CSS Chicora and Palmetto State at anchor in Charleston Harbor

She took part in the defense of the forts at Charleston on April 7 when they were attacked by a squadron of ironclad monitors under Rear Admiral Samuel Francis du Pont, USN. The Federal ships were forced to retire for repairs and did not resume the action.

Chicora was actively employed in the fighting around Charleston during 1863 and 1864. Her valuable services included the transporting of troops during the evacuation of Morris Island, and the bombardment of Forts Sumter, Gregg, and Wagner. In August 1863 she had the distinction of furnishing the first volunteer officer and crew for the Confederate Submarine Torpedo Boat H. L. Hunley.

"A Lieutenant’s commission in the Confederate States Navy was conferred on me, with orders to report for duty on the ironclad Chicora at Charleston. My duties were those of a deck officer, and I had charge of the first division. On the occasion of the attack upon the blockading squadron ... It was my part, on the memorable morning, to aim and fire one effective shell into the Keystone State while running down to attack us, which (according to Captain LeRoy’s report), killing twenty-one men and severely wounding fifteen, caused him to haul down his flag in token of surrender. The enemy now kept at a respectful distance while preparing their ironclad vessels to sail up more closely. Our Navy Department continued slowly to construct more of these rams, all on the same general plan, fit for little else than harbor defense." -- William T. Glassell, Lt. CSN

She was destroyed by the Confederates when Charleston was evacuated on February 18, 1865.

Notes References
  • Chesneau, Roger; Kolesnik, Eugene M., eds. (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860-1905. Greenwich, UK: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-8317-0302-4.
  • Olmstead, Edwin; Stark, Wayne E.; Tucker, Spencer C. (1997). The Big Guns: Civil War Siege, Seacoast, and Naval Cannon. Alexandria Bay, New York: Museum Restoration Service. ISBN 0-88855-012-X.
  • Silverstone, Paul H. (2006). Civil War Navies 1855–1883. The U.S. Navy Warship Series. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-97870-X.
  • Still, William N., Jr. (1985). Iron Afloat: The Story of the Confederate Armorclads (Reprint of the 1971 ed.). Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 0-87249-454-3.

Coker, PC, "Charleston's Maritime Heritage 1670-1865", Charleston, CokerCraft Press 1987

 

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