Most common gun for Confederate Ironclads


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georgew

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Would it be safe to say that the 8" Brooke gun/rifle was the common gun mounted onto the Confederate ironclads? If not, what would be? Could also use a source either way if the collective can supply one or more. Thanks.
You are really asking two questions. 1) What was the most common gun intended to be mounted?, 2) What was the most common gun actually mounted? As chasers, the 6.4 or 7 inch Brookes would have been common. There was still a dialogue going on about whether large smooth bores in the 10 inch to 12 inch range would be superior in broadside applications. The most extreme case would be the Arkansas - none of its mixed ordnance was a Brooke.
 

Carronade

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There were also a fair number of 9" Dahlgrens, 52 of which were captured at Norfolk.
 
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67th Tigers

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Let me do a quick count...

Virginia vessels

Virginia - 6x 9" SB, 2x 6.4" Brooke and 2x 7" Brooke
Richmond - 1x 10" SB, 2x 6.4" and 1x 7" Brooke
Fredericksburg - 1x 11" SB, 2x 6.4" and 1x 8" Brooke
Virginia II - as Fredericksburg
Texas - 2x 11" SB, 2x 6.4" and 2x 8" Brooke (never completed)

NC vessels

North Carolina - 2x 6.4" Brooke and 2x 7" Brooke
Raleigh - 4x 6.4" Brooke
Albemarle - 2x 6.4" Brooke
Neuse - as Albemarle

SC vessels

Palmento State - 2x 9" SB and 2x 7" Brooke
Chicora - 2x 9" SB and 4x rifled 32 pdrs (6.4")
Charleston - as Chicora
Columbia - 1x 10" SB, 2x 6.4" and 3x 7" Brooke

Georgia vessels

Atlanta - 2x 6.4" Brooke and 2x 7" Brooke
Savannah - 2x 6.4" Brooke and 2x 7" Brooke
Millegdeville - 2x 6.4" Brooke and 2x 7" Brooke (burned before complete to prevent capture)
(Georgia not counted, immobile floating battery)

Alabama vessels

Baltic - 2x rifled 32 pdrs, 2x rifles 42 pdrs and a couple of light howitzers
Huntsville - 3x 32 pdr SB and 1x 6.4" Brooke
Tuscaloosa - as Huntsville
Tennessee - 2x 6.4" Brooke and 2x 7" Brooke
Nashville - 3x 7" Brooke and 1x 24 pdr howitzer

Louisiana vessels

Manassas - 1x 64 pdr SB
Louisiana - 4x 8" SB, 3x 9" SB, 2x 7" Brookes and 7x rifled 32 pdrs

Inland

Missouri - 1x 11" SB, 1x 9" SB and 1x 32 pdr SB
Arkansas - 2x 8" SB, 2x 9" SB, 4x 32 pdr SB and 2x 7" Brookes

5x 11" smoothbores (some Dahlgrens, some Brookes?)
2x 10" smoothbores (both Brookes I think)
18x 9" Dahlgren shell guns
6x 8" shell guns
8x 32 pdr smoothbores

4x 8" Brookes
23x 7" Brookes
2x rifles 42 pdrs (7")
31x 6.4" Brookes
17x rifles 32 pdrs (6.4")

So, most numerous by a long way were 6.4" rifles (48), some of which were Brookes pattern and some converted 32 pdrs. Then 25x 7" rifles (mostly Brookes) and then the 18x 9" Dahlgren shell guns.
 

georgew

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Let me do a quick count...

Virginia vessels

Virginia - 6x 9" SB, 2x 6.4" Brooke and 2x 7" Brooke
Richmond - 1x 10" SB, 2x 6.4" and 1x 7" Brooke
Fredericksburg - 1x 11" SB, 2x 6.4" and 1x 8" Brooke
Virginia II - as Fredericksburg
Texas - 2x 11" SB, 2x 6.4" and 2x 8" Brooke (never completed)

NC vessels

North Carolina - 2x 6.4" Brooke and 2x 7" Brooke
Raleigh - 4x 6.4" Brooke
Albemarle - 2x 6.4" Brooke
Neuse - as Albemarle

SC vessels

Palmento State - 2x 9" SB and 2x 7" Brooke
Chicora - 2x 9" SB and 4x rifled 32 pdrs (6.4")
Charleston - as Chicora
Columbia - 1x 10" SB, 2x 6.4" and 3x 7" Brooke

Georgia vessels

Atlanta - 2x 6.4" Brooke and 2x 7" Brooke
Savannah - 2x 6.4" Brooke and 2x 7" Brooke
Millegdeville - 2x 6.4" Brooke and 2x 7" Brooke (burned before complete to prevent capture)
(Georgia not counted, immobile floating battery)

Alabama vessels

Baltic - 2x rifled 32 pdrs, 2x rifles 42 pdrs and a couple of light howitzers
Huntsville - 3x 32 pdr SB and 1x 6.4" Brooke
Tuscaloosa - as Huntsville
Tennessee - 2x 6.4" Brooke and 2x 7" Brooke
Nashville - 3x 7" Brooke and 1x 24 pdr howitzer

Louisiana vessels

Manassas - 1x 64 pdr SB
Louisiana - 4x 8" SB, 3x 9" SB, 2x 7" Brookes and 7x rifled 32 pdrs

Inland

Missouri - 1x 11" SB, 1x 9" SB and 1x 32 pdr SB
Arkansas - 2x 8" SB, 2x 9" SB, 4x 32 pdr SB and 2x 7" Brookes

5x 11" smoothbores (some Dahlgrens, some Brookes?)
2x 10" smoothbores (both Brookes I think)
18x 9" Dahlgren shell guns
6x 8" shell guns
8x 32 pdr smoothbores

4x 8" Brookes
23x 7" Brookes
2x rifles 42 pdrs (7")
31x 6.4" Brookes
17x rifles 32 pdrs (6.4")

So, most numerous by a long way were 6.4" rifles (48), some of which were Brookes pattern and some converted 32 pdrs. Then 25x 7" rifles (mostly Brookes) and then the 18x 9" Dahlgren shell guns.
The CS Naval Dept was directed to loan a 9" to the Manassas (privateer), then replaced it with a 32-lb carronade in Feb '62. Other sources claim the loaned weapon was a 64 lb, one claimed the gun was a 68 lb. The rifled stern chasers aboard the Arkansas were 32's. The bow chasers were 8" Columbiads.
 

georgew

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Let me do a quick count...

Virginia vessels

Virginia - 6x 9" SB, 2x 6.4" Brooke and 2x 7" Brooke
Richmond - 1x 10" SB, 2x 6.4" and 1x 7" Brooke
Fredericksburg - 1x 11" SB, 2x 6.4" and 1x 8" Brooke
Virginia II - as Fredericksburg
Texas - 2x 11" SB, 2x 6.4" and 2x 8" Brooke (never completed)

NC vessels

North Carolina - 2x 6.4" Brooke and 2x 7" Brooke
Raleigh - 4x 6.4" Brooke
Albemarle - 2x 6.4" Brooke
Neuse - as Albemarle

SC vessels

Palmento State - 2x 9" SB and 2x 7" Brooke
Chicora - 2x 9" SB and 4x rifled 32 pdrs (6.4")
Charleston - as Chicora
Columbia - 1x 10" SB, 2x 6.4" and 3x 7" Brooke

Georgia vessels

Atlanta - 2x 6.4" Brooke and 2x 7" Brooke
Savannah - 2x 6.4" Brooke and 2x 7" Brooke
Millegdeville - 2x 6.4" Brooke and 2x 7" Brooke (burned before complete to prevent capture)
(Georgia not counted, immobile floating battery)

Alabama vessels

Baltic - 2x rifled 32 pdrs, 2x rifles 42 pdrs and a couple of light howitzers
Huntsville - 3x 32 pdr SB and 1x 6.4" Brooke
Tuscaloosa - as Huntsville
Tennessee - 2x 6.4" Brooke and 2x 7" Brooke
Nashville - 3x 7" Brooke and 1x 24 pdr howitzer

Louisiana vessels

Manassas - 1x 64 pdr SB
Louisiana - 4x 8" SB, 3x 9" SB, 2x 7" Brookes and 7x rifled 32 pdrs

Inland

Missouri - 1x 11" SB, 1x 9" SB and 1x 32 pdr SB
Arkansas - 2x 8" SB, 2x 9" SB, 4x 32 pdr SB and 2x 7" Brookes

5x 11" smoothbores (some Dahlgrens, some Brookes?)
2x 10" smoothbores (both Brookes I think)
18x 9" Dahlgren shell guns
6x 8" shell guns
8x 32 pdr smoothbores

4x 8" Brookes
23x 7" Brookes
2x rifles 42 pdrs (7")
31x 6.4" Brookes
17x rifles 32 pdrs (6.4")

So, most numerous by a long way were 6.4" rifles (48), some of which were Brookes pattern and some converted 32 pdrs. Then 25x 7" rifles (mostly Brookes) and then the 18x 9" Dahlgren shell guns.
Minor point. Based upon CSN correspondence, it appears that the rifled 32 lb guns were often referred to as 100 lb rifles. I suspect that this was only true if the gun had also been banded. There appear to have been at least two sites where these original guns were banded, Tredegar (Richmond) and Mobile. There is a Ordnance letter sent to the latter specifying the depth and twist of the rifling. They must have been done to a single standard to permit a single standard round for the gun.
 

JohnDLittlefield

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One absolutely essential source: "The Big Guns: Civil War Siege, Seacoast and Naval Cannon" by Olmstead, Stark and Tucker.
I found three copies available through Amazon and Abebooks... all $700+ WOW!

If someone has this book and could do me a huge favor- scan or photo the pages that talk about the prevalence of Brooke guns on Confederate Ironclads, I would be forever grateful!
 

Charlie Robbins

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I found three copies available through Amazon and Abebooks... all $700+ WOW!

If someone has this book and could do me a huge favor- scan or photo the pages that talk about the prevalence of Brooke guns on Confederate Ironclads, I would be forever grateful!


Unfortunately, it won't work that way. Concerning weapons of Brooke's design, this book compiles information from the production and shipment records of Tredegar and Selma. It gives you a little more than the first half of the information. In a few instances, it provides you with the individual ship for which the guns were intended. In other cases, it simply tells you that the weapons were shipped to either the CSA or CSN at a given location. In other cases, it just provides the geographic destination. To complete the process, you have to determine what happened at the destination. This is often difficult. I (and others) have been working for years on this subject and the end is not yet in sight.

Example: The first six 7 inch Brooke MLRs out of Tredegar were bored from 9 inch Dahlgren gun blocks. The first two of these were the fore and aft guns of the CSS Virginia. The other four were intended to be the fore and aft chase guns of the CSS Mississippi. We know from the testimony given by the Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance and Hydrography that three were actually shipped to New Orleans. Once there, two were diverted to the CSS Louisiana and one was loaned to the CSA at Fort Jackson. Now where did the fourth of the 7 inch MLRs intended for the CSS Mississippi go?

Additional problem: Often when a weapon was shipped to the CSN at a particular location, the ship for which it was intended was not ready to receive the weapon. In this case the weapon could be loaned to the CSA for coast defense. In other cases (P.G.T. Beauregard for example) weapons intended for the CSN were seized by the CSA for their own use.

Good luck!.
 

rebelatsea

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Note that 32pdr MLR were exactly that -32pdr SB bored ad rifled. If banded they were often referred to as 6.4", confusing them with Brooke guns of the same calibre which were of course brand new castings to his specification. There were also rifled 42pdr SB 1845 pattern which are called 7" MLR, but these of course aren't Brooke guns either.
To confuse the matter further James Eason & Bros also rifled an unknown number of 8" Columbiads at Charleston, none of which (it says here ) found their way into the CSN. It is my belief that one or more did so.
 

Charlie Robbins

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Note that 32pdr MLR were exactly that -32pdr SB bored ad rifled. If banded they were often referred to as 6.4", confusing them with Brooke guns of the same calibre which were of course brand new castings to his specification. There were also rifled 42pdr SB 1845 pattern which are called 7" MLR, but these of course aren't Brooke guns either.
To confuse the matter further James Eason & Bros also rifled an unknown number of 8" Columbiads at Charleston, none of which (it says here ) found their way into the CSN. It is my belief that one or more did so.




Excellent compilation John!


I would like to emphasize a couple of points from John's listing:

The designed armament, the intended Ordnance Warrant, of the ships was not necessarily that actually installed on the completed ships (or that which would actually be installed on those under construction). The loss of New Orleans and the recapture of Norfolk by the Union reduced the sources of modern Naval guns to Tredegar and Selma (apart from the very few imported through the blockade). The weapons produced by these two sources never were able to meet the demands placed on them. It came to pass that many CSN ships were armed with whatever was available at hand rather than their designed armament. This seems particularly true for ships in the West, far from the eastern seats of political influence and at the end of very shaky supply lines (railways) from the ordnance foundries. Surprisingly this situation reversed itself late in the war when the warships still under construction fell behind their schedules and the weapons intended for them were frequently placed in coast defense batteries until their ships should be ready for them.


As to the converted 32 pdr and 42 pdr MLRs, it is unfortunate that some sources do refer to these as 6.4 and 7 inch MLRs respectively which is quite misleading. As an example, both the converted 32 pdr MLR and the 6.4 inch Brooke MLR both have a bore of 6.4 inches. It is their only common characteristic. The largest 32 pdr that I know of was 112 inches long and weighed a nominal 6200 pounds. The 6.4 inch double banded Brooke MLR was 142 inches long with a weight of 9100 pounds. You can see that these weapons would have very different performance characteristics.
 

JohnDLittlefield

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Unfortunately, it won't work that way. Concerning weapons of Brooke's design, this book compiles information from the production and shipment records of Tredegar and Selma. It gives you a little more than the first half of the information. In a few instances, it provides you with the individual ship for which the guns were intended. In other cases, it simply tells you that the weapons were shipped to either the CSA or CSN at a given location. In other cases, it just provides the geographic destination. To complete the process, you have to determine what happened at the destination. This is often difficult. I (and others) have been working for years on this subject and the end is not yet in sight.

Example: The first six 7 inch Brooke MLRs out of Tredegar were bored from 9 inch Dahlgren gun blocks. The first two of these were the fore and aft guns of the CSS Virginia. The other four were intended to be the fore and aft chase guns of the CSS Mississippi. We know from the testimony given by the Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance and Hydrography that three were actually shipped to New Orleans. Once there, two were diverted to the CSS Louisiana and one was loaned to the CSA at Fort Jackson. Now where did the fourth of the 7 inch MLRs intended for the CSS Mississippi go?

Additional problem: Often when a weapon was shipped to the CSN at a particular location, the ship for which it was intended was not ready to receive the weapon. In this case the weapon could be loaned to the CSA for coast defense. In other cases (P.G.T. Beauregard for example) weapons intended for the CSN were seized by the CSA for their own use.

Good luck!.
Very helpful. Thank you.
 

JohnDLittlefield

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View attachment 123082
View attachment 123083

View attachment 123084
View attachment 123085

View attachment 123086

View attachment 123087
View attachment 123088
Note that 32pdr MLR were exactly that -32pdr SB bored ad rifled. If banded they were often referred to as 6.4", confusing them with Brooke guns of the same calibre which were of course brand new castings to his specification. There were also rifled 42pdr SB 1845 pattern which are called 7" MLR, but these of course aren't Brooke guns either.
To confuse the matter further James Eason & Bros also rifled an unknown number of 8" Columbiads at Charleston, none of which (it says here ) found their way into the CSN. It is my belief that one or more did so.
Great. Thanks John.
 

rebelatsea

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Great. Thanks John.
You are welcome. I must stress and I'm sure Charlie would agree that in many cases we cannot be 100% sure that the ordnance carried is accurate for all of the time ,there may have been changes that we are not aware of. In some cases I'm not sure whether Brooke guns carried are single banded or double banded, so rather than make a guess I haven't said which.
 

Charlie Robbins

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You are welcome. I must stress and I'm sure Charlie would agree that in many cases we cannot be 100% sure that the ordnance carried is accurate for all of the time ,there may have been changes that we are not aware of. In some cases I'm not sure whether Brooke guns carried are single banded or double banded, so rather than make a guess I haven't said which.


I agree completely John.
 

rebelatsea

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Just to bring this thread up to date, we now know that Easons of Charleston were producing both rifled and rifled and banded version of existing weapons, 32 & 42pdrs to the CSN standard referred to above and most notably the 10" rifled and banded Columbiads to their own pattern which inflicted damage on the monitors . Additionally an unidentified foundry at Mobile was also rifling and banding 32 & 42pdr sbs, but what pattern of rifling is unknown at present. It was the refusal of the foundries at New Orleans to conform to CSN requirements of rifling, and particularly banding, which caused such problems in outfitting CSS Louisiana and Mississippi.
 

georgew

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Just to bring this thread up to date, we now know that Easons of Charleston were producing both rifled and rifled and banded version of existing weapons, 32 & 42pdrs to the CSN standard referred to above and most notably the 10" rifled and banded Columbiads to their own pattern which inflicted damage on the monitors . Additionally an unidentified foundry at Mobile was also rifling and banding 32 & 42pdr sbs, but what pattern of rifling is unknown at present. It was the refusal of the foundries at New Orleans to conform to CSN requirements of rifling, and particularly banding, which caused such problems in outfitting CSS Louisiana and Mississippi.
Hi Rebel: I actually have the directions sent from Richmond to Mobile re rifling guns. Give me a week or so to figure out which file I have it in.
 

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