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CSS Albemarle

Discussion in 'Civil War History - The Naval War' started by USS ALASKA, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. USS ALASKA

    USS ALASKA Sergeant

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  3. AndyHall

    AndyHall Colonel Forum Host

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    Don't know the size of the charge, but there's a good sescription of the torpedo and how it worked here:

    http://www.navyandmarine.org/ondeck/1862albemarle_iii.htm

    The trick seems to have been to release it under the hull overhang, allow it to float up against the hull, and then detonate it -- that would maximize its effect nicely.
     
  4. JohnDLittlefield

    JohnDLittlefield Sergeant

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    Also a good drawing and description of the torpedo in the ORN Vol. 10, pp.610 ff (drawing on 622d), but no mention of the amount of powder used that I saw.
     
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  5. rebelatsea

    rebelatsea 2nd Lieutenant

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    No, that piece of dislodged casemate was the result of a misguided attempt by the USN to break the casemate open, presumably to recover the guns and anything else of value.
     
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  6. USS ALASKA

    USS ALASKA Sergeant

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    Was it the Union or the Confederates that salvaged her weapons? In a statement from a wiki page - "Confederate commander Alexander F. Warley, who had been appointed as her captain about a month earlier, later salvaged both of Albemarle's rifled cannon and shells and used them to defend Plymouth against subsequent Union attack—futilely, as it turned out." Unfortunately there is no source to attribute the quote for further investigation.


    Also repeated at the following web site - www.fortbranchcivilwarsite.com/history-css_ram_albemarle.aspx "Her captain, Alexander Wharley CSN, who had been appointed to her about a month earlier, salvaged the guns and shells and used them to defend the town against the subsequent federal attack until he could see further resistance was fruitless." Also source-less.


    Then in the same wiki article - "One of her 6.4-inch (160 mm) double-banded Brooke rifled cannon is on display at the Headquarters of the Commander U. S. Fleet Forces Command at the Norfolk, Virginia, naval base." Which would imply that it was removed during her repair at Norfolk - meaning the Union salvaged it. Unless the Union captured the gun at Plymouth, NC and transported it to Norfolk as a war prize.


    Confused again,
    USS ALASKA
     
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  7. NC Squadron

    NC Squadron Private

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    Maybe this will help: there was nothing wild about the articles. The two guns aboard the Albemarle were removed by the Confederates and mounted on the shore to command the upper river approaches. The Union flotilla, under Commander William H. Macomb, used the Middle Passage as expected to get above Plymouth and attack coming downstream. Before Lt. Alexander Warley was forced to leave by the approaching Union ships, he had an explosive charge detonated inside the forward casemate. It blew out the forward starboard casemate. (This information comes from Bob Elliott's book Ironclad of the Roanoke.) The Albemarle was floated after some of the armor was removed and the leaks sealed. Then she was towed to Norfolk by the USS Ceres. One of the Albemarle guns is indeed on display at the naval base (which was called Gosport in its earlier days). I do not know when the gun was moved from Plymouth to the navy base.

    The Union forces did not attempt to break the casemate open to remove the guns: the guns were already removed and Warley had already blown up the forward part of the casemate before the Federals retook Plymouth. He did it so they could not refloat her and use her against the Confederates. What Warley did can be read in his report to Secretary Mallory. (The casemate didn't have to be blown open to get the guns out. The roof of the casemate had removable iron grates.)

    Bob Elliott was Gilbert Elliott's great-great nephew. His great grandfather was Peter Elliott, Gilbert's brother.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
  8. shipmodeler

    shipmodeler Private

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    Flagship Models CSS Albemarle. A great beginner kit. Easy to build, few parts, simple to paint. Great multi-media kit to get your sea legs.

    CSS%20Albemarle2_zps2x9yvjoo.jpg
     
  9. Carronade

    Carronade 2nd Lieutenant

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    Good point. After all, the Confederates had to have some way to get the guns in!
     
  10. NC Squadron

    NC Squadron Private

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    IMG_0012.JPG
    Action at the event at Plymouth on 22 April 2017. The Cushing launch is build to exactly the same dimensions as the original using the original plans. The Albemarle is 3/8 scale.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
  11. USS ALASKA

    USS ALASKA Sergeant

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    Ah, that looked a little funny - but after looking this up, the ironclad is 3/8 scale while the launch is full-sized, correct?

    Cheers,
    USS ALASKA
     
  12. NC Squadron

    NC Squadron Private

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    Exactly. I meant to include the Albemarle's scale. It is 3/8. I've added that to the caption now.
     
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  13. Carronade

    Carronade 2nd Lieutenant

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    I think it works; the Albemarle still looks pretty formidable compared to that little open boat!
     
  14. OwenEgan

    OwenEgan Private

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    I love this ship. I've started a model of her.
     
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  15. NC Squadron

    NC Squadron Private

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    She's coming right at you!
    IMG_0026.JPG
     
  16. NC Squadron

    NC Squadron Private

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    GOPR0595 (2).JPG Here's a closer look.
     
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  17. OwenEgan

    OwenEgan Private

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    I'm pretty sure that in the shots where she's in the water, she still has her iron on her. So that would be a valid case for trying to infer her colour.

    The shots with her laid up after the war look like she has been stripped of her armour with the long bolts sticking up out of the wood backing.
     
  18. rebelatsea

    rebelatsea 2nd Lieutenant

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    There is another thread in which her paint colour was discussed, there is a possibility she was pine green.
     
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  19. OwenEgan

    OwenEgan Private

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    I remember that thread. I think... yes, it's linked in the similar threads underneath.
     
  20. OwenEgan

    OwenEgan Private

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    I'll share the progress of this in another thread, but I thought I'd post my progress so far on my model.
     

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  21. Carronade

    Carronade 2nd Lieutenant

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    The Union might have the solution to the Albemarle problem if the Casco class monitor program had been managed properly. That's the sort of situation the shallow-draft monitors were intended for, and AFAIK the original Ericsson design was basically sound. Without all the changes that both delayed and ultimately ruined the ships, the first Cascos should have been in service in time to engage Albemarle.

    Albemarle and her Union opponents had drafts of 9' or less, while the Passaic class monitor drew about 10 1/2'. Was that enough to keep them from operating in the North Carolina sounds, or were they considered more needed at points like Charleston?
     
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