Boat and Place Identity?

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Joined
Aug 4, 2019
I believed I had been seeing two different monitors all along. The small smoke stack you report appears to me to be the steam pipe discharge to escape a dangerous steam pressure when the need arises.
 

bschulte

Corporal
Joined
Jul 31, 2005
I remain having trouble with the Trent Reach situation. I seem to be seeing in the background the river making a sweep bend to the right. In the new map presented I can not find that suppose river bend. The one on the map has a bend turning left. Assuming the fleet has their bows pointed upstream toward the enemy. Is this wrong what I think I am seeing! I would like to ask: Is Trent Reach obstruction line or area around it within long range heavy rifled artillery fire of the Confederates? Surely the fleet would not park in the possible firing range? What is that (chain barricade?) that seems to go across the river in front of the fleet? That thing hardly seems like the historical Trent Reach obstruction barrier of history.
The image may have been taken "around the bend" from the part of the river labeled Trent's Reach on my map. If the Union vessels moved up to the obstructions, they were within range of Battery Dantzler on Drewry's Bluff. For the purposes of taking photographs, doing so around the bend makes sense. In that case, the river would indeed bend back to the right. For the record, I agree with you that the river seems to be bending back to the right. So IF this is actually near Trent's reach, it almost certainly has to be around the end to the northeast of the label on my map, probably across the river from Battery Sawyer. One other way to find out the exact location is to identify the location of all of the Union signal towers on Bermida Hundred and elsewhere in the vicinity of the James.

One other possibility is that the image could have been taken after the capture of Richmond, in which case being within range of Confederate batteries no longer mattered.
 

Lubliner

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
View attachment 344668

Hey, @Lubliner, check this out, another ironclad at the same spot. This is a captured Confederate ram, the Atlanta, I believe.
You know, I was admiring the technology design and strength of this ironclad thinking it was much more fearsome than the Union monitors, until I realized how efficient the turret abilities were, and with it the keener shot. There isn't much room for one this size to maneuver unless it be forward and reverse.
Lubliner.
 
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Carronade

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Location
Pennsylvania
You know, I was admiring the technology design and strength of this ironclad thinking it was much more fearsome than the Union monitors, until I realized how efficient the turret abilities were, and with it the keener shot. There isn't much room for one this size to maneuver unless it be forward and reverse.
Lubliner.
The photo is taken from an angle where neither bow nor broadside guns could bear, illustrating another advantage of the monitor.

Atlanta carried four guns, so in this photo the bow and stern guns have been moved to their broadside ports. Presumably they were on pivot rails to make it easier, but it would still involve considerable physical labor by the gun crew.

She is sleek-looking, though.
 

CowCavalry

Corporal
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
You know, I was admiring the technology design and strength of this ironclad thinking it was much more fearsome than the Union monitors, until I realized how efficient the turret abilities were, and with it the keener shot. There isn't much room for one this size to maneuver unless it be forward and reverse.
Lubliner.
I have always admired the Monitors with their right - above the water line decks and the ingenious revolving turrets. I would love to see the mechanism that turned that turret, its like a steam punk aficionado's dream come true. I am sure this was far beyond the CS capability at the time, its amazing actually that they were able to get any form of ironclad afloat in so short a time IMHO. That said, the Atlanta and other CS ironclads were more steam powered armored "ram" than anything.
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Bschulte
Your new location looks much more plausible and I appreciate your time. If your correct then Dutch Gap Canal must be just out of sight on the left bank short distance up the shore. There is an indentation which may be its mouth But this location is even closer to another Confederate gun emplacement (near Howlett's Farm) just north/west of Dutch Gap Canal. I believe that emplacement has history of shelling the construction crews who worked on Dutch Gap and I suppose they could reach the river there also. And yes the river is making its right hand turn here. In your nice drawn map provided you note that on the right bank there is extensive lowland area laying north of the bluff line. In the photo that does not seem to be in view. That could be explained that the artist just put it there as a filler but not accurate. A US Geological Survey Map of the area could be easily obtained by order request to show it correct elevation levels were one could better fit our photos. It would be nice if we had information on where the Army of James placed its observation towers and if one was placed near Fort Sawyer which I would assume there was one as it could easily observe the Confederates emplacement and naval vessels up river.
 
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bschulte

Corporal
Joined
Jul 31, 2005
Bschulte
Your new location looks much more plausible and I appreciate your time. If your correct then Dutch Gap Canal must be just out of sight on the left bank short distance up the shore. There is an indentation which may be its mouth But this location is even closer to another Confederate gun emplacement (near Howlett's Farm) just north/west of Dutch Gap Canal. I believe that emplacement has history of shelling the construction crews who worked on Dutch Gap and I suppose they could reach the river there also. And yes the river is making its right hand turn here. In your nice drawn map provided you note that on the right bank there is extensive lowland area laying north of the bluff line. In the photo that does not seem to be in view. That could be explained that the artist just put it there as a filler but not accurate. A US Geological Survey Map of the area could be easily obtained by order request to show it correct elevation levels were one could better fit our photos. It would be nice if we had information on where the Army of James placed its observation towers and if one was placed near Fort Sawyer which I would assume there was one as it could easily observe the Confederates emplacement and naval vessels up river.
I've been looking online the last few days to see if anyone has documented the locations of the signal towers. I haven't found anything. However, Julie Steele of the NPS, who works at Petersburg National Battlefield, has an awesome web site called Petersburg Project. You might look on her site, or even contact her. I bet they would be able to tell you the location of those towers, and the location of this photo.
 
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