CSS Georgia Recovery

Mark F. Jenkins

Colonel
Member of the Year
Joined
Mar 31, 2012
Location
Central Ohio
I assumed that was from when they brought that particular section to the surface... there are great big (or biggish) chunks of the casemate, and, at least for the test raise, they weren't prepared to handle more than a ton or two (or however much the section weighed that they have brought up). But I'm speculating, rather than speaking from a position of knowledge...
 

AndyHall

Colonel
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
I'm curious as to why they sawed it rather than leave it alone? Thoughts?
I don't know specifically, but I can say with the similar Westfield project here in 2009, they were pressed for time. In both cases they are working in an active commercial waterway, and there are trade-offs as a result.
 

AndyHall

Colonel
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
I think I know, but my browser couldn't play the entire video.
What exactly is this ?
This is a reconstruction drawing of C.S.S. Arkansas' armor in plan view (looking down), showing the use of railroad iron.

Rail Armor.jpg
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
It's not explained in the video anyway. This is a screencap of railroad iron (i.e., T-rails) interleaved to serve as armor plate. This view is end-on. The flat surface on top or bottom would be exposed to enemy fire. That streaked, silvery surface is where a cutting tool went through it.
Thanks again.

The "saw through" was what originally confused me.

As Soon as you explained that screen shot, I immediately recognized everything.
At first I thought it might have been some decorative ironwork applied to the vessel.

But then again, I've always baffled those reviewing my Rorschach test scores. :smoke:
 
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rebelatsea

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Location
Kent ,England.
This is a reconstruction drawing of C.S.S. Arkansas' armor in plan view (looking down), showing the use of railroad iron.

View attachment 58665
Andy ,I've never seen that before, I have always assumed ,and I think most authors have too, that it was a single layer spiked the the timber. Knowing I.N.Browns reputation ,I should have known better, but it does explain why she survived such a hail of fire at close range ,her protection was better than thought.
 

rebelatsea

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Location
Kent ,England.
John, that's a Geoghagen drawing. I think the best-known extant example previously was the forward section of Cairo, that used only a single row:

Expired Image Removed
Andy ,I 've just looked at my copy of the original specification and contract for the Arkansas pair, Mr G has drawn exactly what the contract says. Brown completed the ship with the forward and aft casemate faces armoured as the spec says, but the sides were laid horizontally. I'm guessing that some iron had already been cut to length, and in order to use the rest without having to cut too much ,the builders fitted it horizontally. The protection only went 1 ft below ,but I suspect the ship was overweight with 10 guns on board and probably her design waterline was submerged.
 

AndyHall

Colonel
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
I need to model Arkansas one of these days, but other projects in the pipeline ahead of that.

Do you have a personal view on Geoghagen's drawings of the ship (blue) vs. Meagher's (red)?

ProfilesCompare.png
 
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georgew

First Sergeant
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Location
southern california
This is a reconstruction drawing of C.S.S. Arkansas' armor in plan view (looking down), showing the use of railroad iron.

View attachment 58665
Nice work Andy. A few years ago I did some research on this to help someone writing a book on the Arkansas. Your depiction of the how the system was bolted is generally correct. The forward slanted casemate wall was laid vertically, the longitudinal runs along the casemate were horizontal. A big problem with Arkansas is that her iron came from several sources. About 400 pre-drilled used rails were collected at Memphis from stocks intended for extending the westward rail line in Arkansas. The rail weight you cite is more consistant to siding rail of the period which tended to run about 50-56 lbs/yd. As rolling stock became heavier and more cars added to the trains, heavier rail of about 62 lbs/yd became more common. The pre-drilled iron went up the Yazoo with Arkansas, but sank aboard a barge. One of Brown's first tasks was to bring up this iron. We know that more iron arrived via a rail station about 25 miles from Yazoo City and hauled overland by wagon. It may not have been of the same weight. Her after slanted shield was covered over with boiler iron - reportedly only 1/2 inch. Loose rails were later laid over the fore and after decks at Vicksburg. There are reports of a similar treatment for the casemate upper deck. Oddly this proved an advantage when they had to toss some of it overboard to lighten ship after she grounded on some tree stumps. In general, we can assume that Louisiana, Arkansas and Georgia had similar ironing techniques. The clinker is the fasteners. Firing tests in Virginia regarding different ironing schemes compared rail iron, laminated thin plate and heavier plate. Both the experimenters and the Tifts, who had a backup plan to use rail if plate was not available, agreed that the rail iron used for the tests was not adequately fastened. Louisiana's shield held up very well to essentially point blank firing from heavy Union sloops. Arkansas faced similar close-in fire above Vicksburg and her shield was heavily damaged. Some of it was probably the result of more cumulative hits because the action above Vicksburg came during daylight hours which improved targeting versus the night engagement at the forts below New Orleans. Although this type of T-rail ironing was claimed to be similar in resistance to laminated 4 inch ironing consisting of 2 layers of 2 inch plate, this conclusion is doubtful. Arkansas' vertical shields on the sides of the casemate lacked the additional advantages of sloping armor. In the case of the Georgia, we know that it was proposed to stabilize the reversed T-rail by pouring cement or metal filings into the gaps. Rebel and I both think this may apply to Louisiana and there are recovered portions of Georgia that seem to support this technique. I've never seen any documentation suggesting that it applied to Arkansas. The issue of when and how much pressed cotton was brought aboard and whether it was backed with a second wooden bulkhead behind the sides of the shield is another interesting topic.
 

rebelatsea

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Location
Kent ,England.
I need to model Arkansas one of these days, but other projects in the pipeline ahead of that.

Do you have a personal view on Geoghagen's drawings of the ship (blue) vs. Meagher's (red)?

View attachment 58719
The spec refers to the gunhouse being 6ft high, so , on balance I have to go with William Geoghean. BUT I think Brown made the gunhouse taller, so I weould go with the height of Meagher and the length of Geogehan. Here is my take on her. There are some good card kits out there if you are so inclined try Ecardmodels.com.
THE ARKANSAS  AS  COMPLETED.jpg
 

georgew

First Sergeant
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Location
southern california
The spec refers to the gunhouse being 6ft high, so , on balance I have to go with William Geoghean. BUT I think Brown made the gunhouse taller, so I weould go with the height of Meagher and the length of Geogehan. Here is my take on her. There are some good card kits out there if you are so inclined try Ecardmodels.com.View attachment 58734
One very specific alteration to the casemate of Arkansas relates to her bow and stern chasers. A number of writers have noted the difference between the bow and stern ports and the frigate-style broadside ports. The CSS Louisiana's gun deck was revised to carry four fewer guns than her original layout. This left over four of her very small oval port frames. They appear to be very similar to the fore and aft port frames of the Arkansas. As the decision to go to 10 guns did not occur until late in the building program for Arkansas, it is plausible that she received the left-over ports originally made for Louisiana. Lt. George Gift served as a division officer in action for the port bow chaser and a broadside gun. His memoirs record that the size of the ports allowed little or no traverse of the gun in terms almost identical to descriptions of the ports on Louisiana.
 

georgew

First Sergeant
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Location
southern california
The spec refers to the gunhouse being 6ft high, so , on balance I have to go with William Geoghean. BUT I think Brown made the gunhouse taller, so I weould go with the height of Meagher and the length of Geogehan. Here is my take on her. There are some good card kits out there if you are so inclined try Ecardmodels.com.View attachment 58734
Howdy Rebel. Are we talking 6 ft external height or 6 ft internal clearance?
 

rebelatsea

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Location
Kent ,England.
One very specific alteration to the casemate of Arkansas relates to her bow and stern chasers. A number of writers have noted the difference between the bow and stern ports and the frigate-style broadside ports. The CSS Louisiana's gun deck was revised to carry four fewer guns than her original layout. This left over four of her very small oval port frames. They appear to be very similar to the fore and aft port frames of the Arkansas. As the decision to go to 10 guns did not occur until late in the building program for Arkansas, it is plausible that she received the left-over ports originally made for Louisiana. Lt. George Gift served as a division officer in action for the port bow chaser and a broadside gun. His memoirs record that the size of the ports allowed little or no traverse of the gun in terms almost identical to descriptions of the ports on Louisiana.
George ,I think that is is a possibilty, Louisiana's ports were square, probably 3f 6" long by 3ft high as per Arkansas broadside ports - until her Captain Charlie MacIntosh came along and insisted they all be changed.
 

rebelatsea

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Location
Kent ,England.
Nice work Andy. A few years ago I did some research on this to help someone writing a book on the Arkansas. Your depiction of the how the system was bolted is generally correct. The forward slanted casemate wall was laid vertically, the longitudinal runs along the casemate were horizontal. A big problem with Arkansas is that her iron came from several sources. About 400 pre-drilled used rails were collected at Memphis from stocks intended for extending the westward rail line in Arkansas. The rail weight you cite is more consistant to siding rail of the period which tended to run about 50-56 lbs/yd. As rolling stock became heavier and more cars added to the trains, heavier rail of about 62 lbs/yd became more common. The pre-drilled iron went up the Yazoo with Arkansas, but sank aboard a barge. One of Brown's first tasks was to bring up this iron. We know that more iron arrived via a rail station about 25 miles from Yazoo City and hauled overland by wagon. It may not have been of the same weight. Her after slanted shield was covered over with boiler iron - reportedly only 1/2 inch. Loose rails were later laid over the fore and after decks at Vicksburg. There are reports of a similar treatment for the casemate upper deck. Oddly this proved an advantage when they had to toss some of it overboard to lighten ship after she grounded on some tree stumps. In general, we can assume that Louisiana, Arkansas and Georgia had similar ironing techniques. The clinker is the fasteners. Firing tests in Virginia regarding different ironing schemes compared rail iron, laminated thin plate and heavier plate. Both the experimenters and the Tifts, who had a backup plan to use rail if plate was not available, agreed that the rail iron used for the tests was not adequately fastened. Louisiana's shield held up very well to essentially point blank firing from heavy Union sloops. Arkansas faced similar close-in fire above Vicksburg and her shield was heavily damaged. Some of it was probably the result of more cumulative hits because the action above Vicksburg came during daylight hours which improved targeting versus the night engagement at the forts below New Orleans. Although this type of T-rail ironing was claimed to be similar in resistance to laminated 4 inch ironing consisting of 2 layers of 2 inch plate, this conclusion is doubtful. Arkansas' vertical shields on the sides of the casemate lacked the additional advantages of sloping armor. In the case of the Georgia, we know that it was proposed to stabilize the reversed T-rail by pouring cement or metal filings into the gaps. Rebel and I both think this may apply to Louisiana and there are recovered portions of Georgia that seem to support this technique. I've never seen any documentation suggesting that it applied to Arkansas. The issue of when and how much pressed cotton was brought aboard and whether it was backed with a second wooden bulkhead behind the sides of the shield is another interesting topic.
The fastening and the strength of support to any type of armour is crucial, It can make all the difference between penetration and resistance , and accounts for many cases, not just in the ACW where protection had a greater or lesser performance than should have theoretically occurred.
The mix of iron filings and concrete as a filler and stabiliser would have prevented movement of the iron on Louisiana in it's fastenings and help spread impact loads to the backing.
I concur with George that Arkansas did not have this filling, and I suspect her broadside armour at least, may not have been held properly to the backing. If the 1st layer had been secured to the backing in the usual fashion by bolts or spikes ,and the second layer driven into it, it should have held better than it did. However, it's a **** sight easier to drive rail in vertically ( known in railroad terms as "tonking") than it is to do it horizontally.
 
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