Brown Water Navy

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aggie80

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Brown Water Navy

Term used to refer to the fleet of vessels used in the fresh water campaigns during the Civil War, particularly on the Mississippi and its many tributaries.

It was not a glamorous job, and very dangerous, river currents, restricted maneuvering room and danger from the shore batteries made these positions less than desirable.
 

Mark F. Jenkins

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While under Army direction, the brown water navy was officially known as the Western Gunboat Flotilla; when passed to Navy control on October 1, 1862, it became known as the Mississippi Squadron.
 
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ExNavyPilot

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The Brown Water Navy was revived in the Vietnam War, using Patrol Boats, River (PBRs); Patrol Craft, Fast (PCFs), also known as Swift Boats; Assault Support Patrol Boats (ASPBs), or "Alpha Boats"; and converted WWII landing craft. They helped stem enemy infiltration and weapons smuggling in the deltas and up the rivers.
 

CSA Today

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Brown Water Navy

Term used to refer to the fleet of vessels used in the fresh water campaigns during the Civil War, particularly on the Mississippi and its many tributaries.

It was not a glamorous job, and very dangerous, river currents, restricted maneuvering room and danger from the shore batteries made these positions less than desirable.
Jack Hinson (Confederate marksman), from a cliff overlooking a passage through the “narrows” in the Cumberland River, took a deadly toll from all daring to appear on deck.

“I think war is a dangerous place."
George W. Bush
 

DanF

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Jack Hinson (Confederate marksman), from a cliff overlooking a passage through the “narrows” in the Cumberland River, took a deadly toll from all daring to appear on deck.

“I think war is a dangerous place."
George W. Bush
Just curious but did it mention distances?
 
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CSA Today

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Just curious but did it mention distances?
I would have to go back through the book to check, but he was on a cliff over looking a narrow confused water section of the river and it took the ships over a half hour just get past this point. Hinson had a special rifle made just for this purpose, but I don’t recall it being an exceptionally long shot.

Tom C. McKenney, Jack Hinson’s One Man War: A Civil War Sniper

“I think war is a dangerous place."George W. Bush
 

ExNavyPilot

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Ha! I can see two things happening here if that guy were to shoot one long forward burst from that gun:
1) the gunmount would tear out of the bottom of the boat and the gunner/helmsman would be reaching for his flotation device, or
2) that boat would be backing down at a high rate of speed despite its throttle being at "All Ahead Full".
If the gunner were to shoot a burst directly abeam, the boat would probably turn turtle by the time the fifth round was making its way down the barrel.

But heck, he could probably make his way (stealthily, even!) up some very restricted waters.
 

DanF

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Ok, thank you. I was just curious if they had mentioned the distances involved.
 
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DanF

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2) that boat would be backing down at a high rate of speed despite its throttle being at "All Ahead Full".
That might be the tactical plan, attack and full speed to the rear all at the same time.

:D
 

CSA Today

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Ha! I can see two things happening here if that guy were to shoot one long forward burst from that gun:
1) the gunmount would tear out of the bottom of the boat and the gunner/helmsman would be reaching for his flotation device, or
2) that boat would be backing down at a high rate of speed despite its throttle being at "All Ahead Full".
If the gunner were to shoot a burst directly abeam, the boat would probably turn turtle by the time the fifth round was making its way down the barrel.

But heck, he could probably make his way (stealthily, even!) up some very restricted waters.
That’s the Coast Guard for you, we had sturdier craft in the “Gator Navy”. :smug:

GG Grandfather John M. Carlisle -- Chaplain 7th SC Inf.
GG Uncle James H. Carlisle – signer of SC Ordinance of Secession
G Grandfather Nathaniel L. McCormick—Private, Battery E 40th [3rd] N C Artillery
G Grandfather Thomas M. Bolton – Private, Co. G 19th Va. Inf.
G Uncle Dougald McCormick--Private Co. D 46th NC Inf.
G Uncle Duncan McCormick – Private, NC Home Guard
G Uncle Alexander Mc Cormick –1st Sgt, Co. B 6th Ms Inf.
G Uncle Murdoch McCormick—Private, Ms Home Guard
G Uncle James W. Bolton – Private, Co. B (Rives) Nelson Light Artillery (Va.), 1864 Co. G, 19th Va. Inf.
G Uncle Albert G. Bolton – Private, Co. F 27th Va. Inf.
G Uncle Alexander H. Bolton – Private, Co. D 7th Va. Inf.
G Uncle Lindsey C. Bolton – Private, Co. B. 1st Va. Reserves
G Uncle Thomas D. Boone – Captain,. Co. F 1st NC Inf.
G. Uncle James D. Boone -- Quartermaster sergeant, Co. F 1st NC Inf.
G Uncle John W. Boone -- Private, Co. D 59th (4th Cav.) NC, 1st NC Inf. Co. F
G Uncle Peter Lindsey Breeden—Captain, Co. E, 4th SC Cav.
G Uncle A.J. Breeden – Private, Co. E. 4th SC Cav.
Cousins –Daniel McKinnon, Luther McKinnon, John N. McKinnon, McKay McKinnon, Murdoch McKinnon -- all privates in Company E 40th (3rd) NC artillery [heavy]
 

ExNavyPilot

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Jack Hinson (Confederate marksman), from a cliff overlooking a passage through the “narrows” in the Cumberland River, took a deadly toll from all daring to appear on deck.
“I think war is a dangerous place."
George W. Bush
Earl Hess' new book, The Civil War in the West, discusses river transportation, gunboat and steamboat ops in some detail. He mentions the danger to northern vessels not only from Confederate batteries but also guerilla units that would shoot at the boats, civilian steamers as well as gunboats. A number of civilians, including women, were killed. Ultimately, the biggest risk to the steamboats were boiler accidents, which caused the vast majority of casualties.
 
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CSA Today

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Earl Hess' new book, The Civil War in the West, discusses river transportation, gunboat and steamboat ops in some detail. He mentions the danger to northern vessels not only from Confederate batteries but also guerilla units that would shoot at the boats, civilian steamers as well as gunboats. A number of civilians, including women, were killed. Ultimately, the biggest risk to the steamboats were boiler accidents, which caused the vast majority of casualties.

I read somewhere that the deadliest shot of the war was a solid shot from a 32 pounder hitting a boiler of a Federal ship.

http://www.arkansascivilwar150.com/civil-war-sites/detail.aspx?id=50


GG Grandfather John M. Carlisle -- Chaplain 7th SC Inf.
GG Uncle James H. Carlisle – signer of SC Ordinance of Secession
G Grandfather Nathaniel L. McCormick—Private, Battery E 40th [3rd] N C Artillery
G Grandfather Thomas M. Bolton – Private, Co. G 19th Va. Inf.
G Uncle Dougald McCormick--Private Co. D 46th NC Inf.
G Uncle Duncan McCormick – Private, NC Home Guard
G Uncle Alexander Mc Cormick –1st Sgt, Co. B 6th Ms Inf.
G Uncle Murdoch McCormick—Private, Ms Home Guard
G Uncle James W. Bolton – Private, Co. B (Rives) Nelson Light Artillery (Va.), 1864 Co. G, 19th Va. Inf.
G Uncle Albert G. Bolton – Private, Co. F 27th Va. Inf.
G Uncle Alexander H. Bolton – Private, Co. D 7th Va. Inf.
G Uncle Lindsey C. Bolton – Private, Co. B. 1st Va. Reserves
G Uncle Thomas D. Boone – Captain,. Co. F 1st NC Inf.
G. Uncle James D. Boone -- Quartermaster sergeant, Co. F 1st NC Inf.
G Uncle John W. Boone -- Private, Co. D 59th (4th Cav.) NC, 1st NC Inf. Co. F
G Uncle Peter Lindsey Breeden—Captain, Co. E, 4th SC Cav.
G Uncle A.J. Breeden – Private, Co. E. 4th SC Cav.
Cousins –Daniel McKinnon, Luther McKinnon, John N. McKinnon, McKay McKinnon, Murdoch McKinnon -- all privates in Company E 40th (3rd) NC artillery [heavy]
 

ExNavyPilot

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I read somewhere that the deadliest shot of the war was a solid shot from a 32 pounder hitting a boiler of a Federal ship.
http://www.arkansascivilwar150.com/civil-war-sites/detail.aspx?id=50
THAT would be a horrible way to go. You'd be lucky if the concussion killed you. Otherwise, you'd be scalded to death by that steam. Not sure about the Civil War-era boilers, but the more modern naval steam boilers operated at 1,200 psi with superheated steam; that would cook you in a heartbeat!
 

ExNavyPilot

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Of course, the biggest riverine disaster was the explosion of three boilers aboard the SS Sultana; about 1,600 passengers were killed. These included many Union ex-POWs that were heading home.
 
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Mark F. Jenkins

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I read somewhere that the deadliest shot of the war was a solid shot from a 32 pounder hitting a boiler of a Federal ship.

http://www.arkansascivilwar150.com/civil-war-sites/detail.aspx?id=50
Well-spotted... yup, on the White River, when the Mound City had her steam drum pierced. The steam drums had originally been mounted below-deck on the "turtles," where they would have been better-protected, but then they were too low-mounted to be mechanically efficient (water from the boilers entered them as well as steam) and they were relocated to the more-vulnerable position atop the boilers.

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This is in the Cairo at Vicksburg, looking towards the starboard stern, with the paddle-wheel "spider" visible in the background. The black tube going across the photo is the steam drum, and the boilers are underneath and attached to it.

The Mound City was not the only one to suffer that sort of accident in combat; the Essex suffered a very similar hit at Fort Henry, and there were many other examples on both sides. Several Union gunboat commanders, including Henry Walke on the Carondelet, built "internal casemates" to better protect the steam drum and machinery, which seems to have been effective when it was done.
 

Nathanb1

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A Brief History of Fort Pemberton
Location: Greenwood, MS, at junction of U.S Hiways 82 and 49E.
In the 1863 Vicksburg Campaign, General Grant tried several attacks on the city on the bluff. One plan was to send troops on transports down the Tallahatchie and Yazoo Rivers into the back door instead of down the heavily defended Mississippi River. He cut the Mississippi River levee in February which flooded the several bayous between the Mississippi and Tallahatchie Rivers, making a navigable connection. Twenty-two transports (with 5000 troops), two ironclads, two rams and six light draft gunboats made up the first expedition, which was later reinforced with another brigade and additional vessels. It took several weeks to make the 200-mile trip as the bayous were narrow and tortuous. The flooded rivers allowed the gunboats to clear the river bottoms but it also caused many to loose their smokestacks and upper structure when they contacted the low-hanging trees.
Appraised of the Federal plans the Confederate General John C. Pemberton ordered a fort to be constructed to block the enemy forces. The engineers selected a location where the Tallahatchie makes an abrupt easterly turn and, after joining with the Yazoo River, it loops back within a few hundred yards of the Tallahatchie. This allowed room for only two gunboats at a time to approach the Confederates works and attack with only their forward guns. The fort was hastily built of cotton bales covered with earth, and named Fort Pemberton. It had but a few light guns, and a very accurate 8-inch rifle. The fort was manned by 1500 men under command of Brig. Gen. W.W. Loring. The flooded the area limited any infantry movement by land. To further impede the enemy's advance down the Yazoo River, the steamship "Star of the West" was loaded with cotton bales and sunk in the channel. This "Star of the West" was one of the Federal mechant ships captured at The Federal Flotilla arrived at Fort Pemberton on March 11th, and the two ironclads attacked at 1000 yards, but both were damaged after several attempts to reduce the fort. The Confederate gunners placed one well-aimed shot through the forward gun port of the first ironclad. The Federal fleet retired to the Mississippi. Grant's attempt to reach Vicksburg by the Tallahatachie-Yazoo route had failed.
 
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