Interior plan of the blockade runners?


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rebelatsea

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#83
Fergus and her near sistership The Dare (note the name on her register includes "The") is held by the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. A near copy was redrawn by either Harold Chapelle or more likely Earl Geohegan, of the NMAH Smithsonian. The original drawings are beautiful hand-colored drawings on a single sheet. Part is torn loose. The Smithsonian plans are available from them or, usually from ebay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/sidewheel-...829243?hash=item2f2944abfb:g:pooAAOxyY9VRKib8
Is Earl Geogehan the same gentleman as William who drew so many of the CSN ironclads?
 

rebelatsea

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#84
Born with a silver anchor in his mouth, instead of a spoon! Lucky guy.

Boy did I ever read it! It occupied my entire day yesterday and half of today. Then my brain was fried and I had to go pull weeds in the garden. In any case, an EXCELLENT manuscript, and will be an excellent book. You are organized, clear, interesting, and highly informative. I am so so glad that you are publishing this, with or without photos. I look forward to reviewing it on Goodreads and Amazon when it comes out.

I am a fiction writer who's father was (before he retired) a historian of French diplomatic history (specialty le Comte de Vergennes, a French diplomat involved in negotiations related to the American Revolution). So somewhere along the way I ended up interested in history, and after putting out a few unrelated novels (fantasy) I started a 4 volume series, two volumes of which take place during the civil war. Now (thank heavens!) finally on the 4th volume, and creating a blockade runner and crew for part of that story. We historical fiction novelists are always so so grateful to you historians for helping us see, understand, and recreate, to (hopefully) tell a thrilling tale. So, thank you thank you for sharing this thesis. I really look forward to seeing the book. L.
Wow, between you , myself on ironclads and John Littlefield on the torpedo craft, all we lack now is someone to cover the wooden gunboats and cottonclads !
 
Joined
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#87
Is Earl Geogehan the same gentleman as William who drew so many of the CSN ironclads?
Yes, If I remember what Ed Bearss said of him correctly, he went by Earl. My former boss, Ed Bearss, who WAS Chief Historian of the NPS, lived across the street from him. I found that out by happenstance when talking to Ed about my time as an intern at Naval History at the Smithsonian, reorganizing Mr. Geogenan's files. When Mr. Geohegan was not seen for several days, Ed was the one who found his body after he died in the bathtub at home alone with his cats. I'll check if I still have Ed's phone number and ask him to be sure.
 

AndyHall

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#88
View attachment 293560
Image credit: https://www.minecreek.info/blockade-runners/confederate-blockade-runner-186165.html


Ps -- looking for a VERY fun read? Consider reading Running the Blockade: A Personal Narrative of Adventures, Risks, and Escapes During the American Civil War by Thomas E. Taylor. Thrilling, and full of delightful 19th century swagger and bravado. Man, those guys knew how to have a good time.
I would second the endorsement of Tom Taylor's book. William Watson's memoir is also very good. It's much longer, and more dense, but he discusses the business of blockade-running in much more detail.
 

rebelatsea

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#90
Yes, If I remember what Ed Bearss said of him correctly, he went by Earl. My former boss, Ed Bearss, who WAS Chief Historian of the NPS, lived across the street from him. I found that out by happenstance when talking to Ed about my time as an intern at Naval History at the Smithsonian, reorganizing Mr. Geogenan's files. When Mr. Geohegan was not seen for several days, Ed was the one who found his body after he died in the bathtub at home alone with his cats. I'll check if I still have Ed's phone number and ask him to be sure.
Thank you, as I printed that I realised that he was W.E. Geogehan ! I've said it before, but it's worth repeating that we owe him a great debt for his interpretation of the ironclads particularly. Do you know if all of his ironclad drawings have been published ? All the ones I have seen have subsequently proved to be spot on - except one. CSS Mississippi. I would dearly love to know his sources for that plan as it doesn't match any of the documentation I have, although it is a good looking vessel.
 
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#94
Andy's digital ship models are wonderful, the ideal way to understand the ships as three-dimensional things. Make sure you find: Denbigh and Will o’ the Wisp, and the blockader and sistership to a blockade runner Hatteras.
Very cool. Amazing work. Hey Andy, exactly where on the Will O' the Wisp bridge was the speaking tube to the engine room? Would the captain have had to go far from the bridge to use it? My dad is an old submariner and remembers those speaking tubes from his navy days. He says they were quite accurate, did not echo or distort much.
 

DaveBrt

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#95
Very cool. Amazing work. Hey Andy, exactly where on the Will O' the Wisp bridge was the speaking tube to the engine room? Would the captain have had to go far from the bridge to use it? My dad is an old submariner and remembers those speaking tubes from his navy days. He says they were quite accurate, did not echo or distort much.
The ship's wheel, the compass and the speaking tube to the engine room would all be together, with the speaking tube sometimes on the aft side of the forward wall of the bridge.
 

AndyHall

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#97
Hey Andy, exactly where on the Will O' the Wisp bridge was the speaking tube to the engine room? Would the captain have had to go far from the bridge to use it? My dad is an old submariner and remembers those speaking tubes from his navy days. He says they were quite accurate, did not echo or distort much.
@DaveBrt is correct, those would all be grouped together, usually at the stern of the vessel near the head of the rudder There might be an additional binnacle (compass) and tubes on the bridge between the wheel boxes, where the all-around visibility was better. But I think that would be secondary to the primary station aft.

I'm not sure when engine telegraphs for relaying engine orders came into use, but I don't think they would be seen on (relatively) small vessels like these, regardless.

ETA: This contemporary illustration, showing John Newland Maffitt (dark clothing, center), shows a wheel positioned between the paddleboxes, but I believe that may be more conjectural than documentary.

clip_image003.jpg
 
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AndyHall

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#99
Can you imagine trying to see a very slender, low, light grey ship in this fog? Good luck, blockaders! :smile:
There's a reason it's now called "haze gray."

This was actually a very bad situation for runners trying to get into Confederate ports, because their position might be off and only a small error could wreck the ship. Acadia was lost in that same fog as Will o' the Wisp. Generally speaking, getting into a Confederate port was more difficult and dangerous than getting out again.
 
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@DaveBrt is correct, those would all be grouped together, usually at the stern of the vessel near the head of the rudder There might be an additional binnacle (compass) and tubes on the bridge between the wheel boxes, where the all-around visibility was better. Bt I think that would be secondary to the primary station aft.

I'm not sure when engine telegraphs for relaying engine orders came into use, but I don't think they would be seen on (relatively) small vessels like these, regardless.
Thanks Dave and Andy. So, on your 3-D model of the Fergus (Andy), there is no "aft wall" on the bridge (as it extends wheel house to wheel house), but I see mid-bridge what looks like a compass, fore of the helm wheel. Would it be grouped there? A brass pipe, sticking up out of the bridge deck?

Could not find accurate info on the development engine order telegraph. Wikipedia just says "mid-19th century" . Other sources seem to be mainly obsessed with the Titanic. In any case, it seems like a system that rings bells would likely NOT be popular with blockade runners, as silence was so essential at those crucial sweaty and breath-holding moments while hiding or while sneaking into port.
 



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