Mortar boats (rafts) in the Mississippi

GFJ

Cadet
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
I know that the usual sources attribute the mortar boats to General Fremont, but did he actually draw up the plans? If he didn’t, who did? I know this is a trivial point, but we are fairly sure of the designers of most of the military vessels in the area, so if someone could provide a definitive answer, it would fill yet another hole in my research.
 

redbob

Major
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Location
Hoover, Alabama
The use of mortar boats worldwide preceeded the Civil War and I imagine that any Marine Engineer could have designed them.
 

Carronade

Captain
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Location
Pennsylvania
The use of mortar boats worldwide preceeded the Civil War and I imagine that any Marine Engineer could have designed them.

I don't see that they were any "major accomplishment" or great feat of engineering. Certainly not patent or copyright material.

Both true, but still, somebody had to draw up the plans, however simple they may have been. At the least, someone had to calculate the weight of mortar, ammunition, ancillary equipment, crew, basic stores, etc. and design a boat/raft to accommodate them.

My guess, I doubt that Fremont with all his responsibilities as a department commander did much more than direct someone to design boats that could carry a 13" mortar and accessories. Given the amount of shipping and shipbuilding on the Mississippi, there were probably plenty of people who could make the necessary calculations.

On the other hand, we could easily envision some hustler talking his way into a contract and building a boat that sank when loaded :wink:
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Location
South Texas
They're all pretty much true statements and I agree with you that Fremont did little more than possibly sign his name to some plans that were ( again possibly) done by someone else.
 

FPT

Private
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Interesting discussion.
Are there copies of any plans or photos of a mortar boat? Were these boats commissioned by the U.S. Navy?

Thanks.

FPT
 
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