Confederate Vessel's Armament at Mobile

redbob

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Has anyone ever seen a list of the armament's (cannon) on the Confederate vessels at Mobile, I am particularly interested in the guns on the CSS Morgan.
 

redbob

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Silverstone lists the armament of Gaines and Morgan as one 7-inch rifle (pretty safe in assuming a Brooke), one "6-inch rifle" (error for 6.4"?), two 32-pounder rifles and two 32-pounder smoothbores.
Outstanding work, I have gone through about a dozen books and couldn't find the answer. The reason for all of this was that a 7" Britten shell has come my way that was supposedly fired from the CSS Morgan at the Union siege lines at Blakeley/Spanish Fort. Thank you for the information, it helps confirm the information that came with the shell.
 

Mark F. Jenkins

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Outstanding work, I have gone through about a dozen books and couldn't find the answer. The reason for all of this was that a 7" Britten shell has come my way that was supposedly fired from the CSS Morgan at the Union siege lines at Blakeley/Spanish Fort. Thank you for the information, it helps confirm the information that came with the shell.
And in support of that, Silverstone notes that Morgan was damaged in an engagement near Blakely in April 1865, so she was known to be there.
 

Story

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Outstanding work, I have gone through about a dozen books and couldn't find the answer. The reason for all of this was that a 7" Britten shell has come my way that was supposedly fired from the CSS Morgan at the Union siege lines at Blakeley/Spanish Fort. Thank you for the information, it helps confirm the information that came with the shell.

You might enjoy this thread, if you haven't already seen it
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/a-hurricane-exposed-relic.177218/#post-2307900
 

ucvrelics

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Has anyone ever seen a list of the armament's (cannon) on the Confederate vessels at Mobile, I am particularly interested in the guns on the CSS Morgan.
Here is the info from the CS Naval records and the shell along with a map of the position of the Morgan at Blakley.
Screenshot (11).png

britten.jpg

britten-1.jpg

britten-2.jpg

blakelyrebelworks.jpg
 

redbob

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Here is the info from the CS Naval records and the shell along with a map of the position of the Morgan at Blakley.
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Says the man that put this baby on me. BTW, this type of shell has been called "the most famous shell of the Civil War" as an identical one was fired by the CSS Alabama during it's fight with the USS Kearsarge from it's 7" Blakeley Rifle which struck the sternpost of the Kearsarge but failed to explode. Mine failed to explode due to a defective percussion cap in it's percussion fuse which prevented it from exploding. Photo by NavSource
Kearsarge Sternpost.jpg
 

rebelatsea

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Now... I've just checked a secondary source. If you need something proven beyond reasonable doubt, I'll need to go to primary sources--- say, if there's some question about valuation (or evaluation) of the 7" round. (But the story hangs together so far.)
Mark, just a note of caution about the ordnance warrants at Mobile. The only vessels that I can be 100% sure included Brooke MLR from a process of elimination in the surviving Tredegar and Selma records CSS Tennessee (confirmed by the USN) , CSS Nashville, CSS Selma and CSS Gaines. Charlie Robbins may have some observations on this.
 

Mark F. Jenkins

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I'm intrigued by the apparent identification of the 7" as a Blakely; I'd have thought a Brooke was more likely (and thought that the Blakely reference arose from confusion with the location name), but that shell doesn't look much like a Brooke round.
 

redbob

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To muddy the waters even more, I could only find one reference to a Blakeley Gun being at Mobile and that was an 8" gun at Fort Morgan. Also, a rifled 42# gun fired a 7" shell and imitation Britten shells were being made in Charleston by the Eason Brothers Foundry; so the quest continues and thanks for all of the input. From left: a 3.5" Britten with sabot, a 6.4" Eason copy for a rifled 32# gun, the genuine 7" Britten and a 6.4" Brooke. Photo from author's collection.
Brittens.JPG
 

Mark F. Jenkins

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I'm a little out of my depth here-- ammo isn't my specialty area-- but the only rounds I can find in Ripley that look like that are Schenkls. What's a Britten?

Given that Olmstead, Stark and Tucker don't list any 7" Blakelys other than the one from Florida at the Washington Navy Yard and the one from Alabama in France, and that the Selma foundry cast somewhere around two dozen 7" double-banded Brookes for the Mobile area, I'm going to have to assume the piece was overwhelmingly likely to be a Brooke, even if the round was different.
 

redbob

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I'm a little out of my depth here-- ammo isn't my specialty area-- but the only rounds I can find in Ripley that look like that are Schenkls. What's a Britten?

Given that Olmstead, Stark and Tucker don't list any 7" Blakelys other than the one from Florida at the Washington Navy Yard and the one from Alabama in France, and that the Selma foundry cast somewhere around two dozen 7" double-banded Brookes for the Mobile area, I'm going to have to assume the piece was overwhelmingly likely to be a Brooke, even if the round was different.
I would think that a variety of 7" rounds (Mullane, Broun, Brooke, Britten, Schenkl etc.) would fit a 7" bore (Brooke, Britten, Parrott, rifled 42#er etc.) and I would have to agree that in an area where you couldn't throw a rock and not hit a Brooke that Brookes would dominate. I also wondered how Britten guns got to Mobile instead of along the East coast where they seem to be found most. Regardless of what fired it, I still tickled to have the Britten shell. Plus, my round has a rather distinctive Britten percussion fuse.
 

ucvrelics

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I would think that a variety of 7" rounds
You are correct, a 7 inch shell is a 7 inch shell. The reason the Morgan had Britten gun s is her keel was laid in mid 1861 and launched in mid 62. Selma was not making big naval guns yet. I would say that the Britten guns for the Morgan came into Mobile from England as a lot of CS supplies did till the blockade.
 

rebelatsea

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I'm intrigued by the Blakely reference too. I tend to go with Mark on that one. Easons rifled guns and projectiles were "made on the Britten patent". Using a sabot, about the only thing a Britten projectile couldn't be fired from was an Armstrong / Woolwich piece which required a studded projectile. Easons guns could fire a Brooke projectile, but being conversions would not have the long Brooke barrel and therefore the range.
There were two more vessels at Mobile: CSS Powell, warrant 2 x 7" double banded Brooke MLR and 2 x 8" Brooke SB,engined by Columbus, but not armed or armoured, and CSS Montgomery, warrant 7 guns armed and armoured but never manned. I have currently no idea of the sources of either her guns or iron.
 

rebelatsea

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I am intrigued by the Blakely reference too, but I tend to follow Mark on that one. About the only thing a Britten projectile could not be fired from was an Armstrong /Woolwich gun, which required a studded projectile. Easons rifled guns were converted "on the Britten patent". They were very powerful but, not having the long barrels of a Brooke, did not have the long range, although to 10" columbiads at Charleston knocked the monitors about.
There was one more vessel at Mobile, CSS Montgomery, engine, armed and armoured but not commissioned for lack of crew. Currently I have not been able to determine the source and nature of her guns or her 4.5" iron. Incidentally it appears that she may not have been a sidewheeler, making the appearance in my book wrong.
 

georgew

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Mark, just a note of caution about the ordnance warrants at Mobile. The only vessels that I can be 100% sure included Brooke MLR from a process of elimination in the surviving Tredegar and Selma records CSS Tennessee (confirmed by the USN) , CSS Nashville, CSS Selma and CSS Gaines. Charlie Robbins may have some observations on this.
Just a comment. Some time back I ran across correspondence from Richmond to Mobile with directions on how to rifle existing 32-lb smooth bores. I don't recall it mentioning the issue of banding the tube. The instructions included the pattern of the grooves for the conversion. It may be that early in the war Richmond tried to encourage on-site conversions across the Confederacy in existing foundries. This may also tie in with the appearance of the 6-inch rifles. I'm going to have to hunt through my files for the actual correspondence and will post it when found.
 
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