The ship’s upper hull was cut away and a wood casement was placed on top and covered with four inches of iron plating. This would later prove effective with explosive shells, as armor piercing shells did not exist at the time. Four of the Virginia’s ten guns were the 9-in. Dahlgren smoothbores used as the broadside batteries. Pivot guns were mounted in the bow and the stern to provide traversing fire. The South was counting on this “powerful new weapon to turn the tide.” They believed that the Virginia would not only threaten the Union blockade, but also any ship that threaten the ports.
The Union was already under construction of an ironclad, designed by John Erickson after receiving word about the Virginia. The ship had a shallow draft hull just above the water line and housed two 11-inch Dahlgren guns in a rotating turret. The Monitor would be referred to as a “tin can on a shingle” for its de...
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...ys and harbors to defend against Federal warships.” The Confederates would develop the David Class boats and the Hunley, to employ these torpedoes against Union ships. This impacted not only in the war but in the navies of the future
Torpedoes, or what we would call mines today, “were used to challenge the Union force of the river” carrying a charge 50 pounds to one ton of gunpowder. While there were many designs, to included using small wooden beer kegs, the Confederates use two different types of mines. The first was a contact mine. These could be employed as a floating mine or as a mine that was moored to the bottom. The mine would detonate upon seven pounds of pressure when struck by a ship. The second type used was and electrically detonated mine. This would be controlled by an operator off shore. Barbs were placed on these type of mines to attach to the
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