Rebel, what is the basis for the layout with the propellers at each end? I've had a theory for years that the machinery for the Tennessee (I) was retained at Yazoo City and intended for use with this build. It is actually easier structurally to put in two drive-lines (one on each side of the sternpost) than the double-ender installation. You lose the benefit of the second engine and prop as the pitch of the 2nd prop is very inefficient if run in reverse so the flow through the blades is in the same direction as the prop on the other end. The sole justification I see for such an installation would be construction on a very narrow river and a requirement for rapid heading changes. As for the main engines for side-wheels, there were a number of good-sized boats on the Yazoo that might have served as a donor vessel. This vessel and the Mobile are shining examples of why the Confederates ended up torching so many projects. They waited around for plate armor instead of going with railway iron. Not as good as plate, but much more available. The key to effective rr ironing was to firmly secure the bottom T-rails with numerous nuts, bolts and washers. The reversed outer rail was simply driven down between the base rails. Sledge-hammer fitting at its best. If the outer rail seems a bit wobbly, you pour cement, metal filings or sand in the gaps to stabilize. Mobile was such a small displacement vessel, I suspect she would have used a kind of composite armor. Something like T-rail at the ends of the casemate and strip rail on the sides. Kind of a tin-clad on steroids. Reasonable resistance to shell fragments, but subject to damage from direct hits.I tend to agree with Bil that getting Louisiana to Mobile would have been by far the best course of action for her. Not only would she have been there for further service ,but her faults could have been remedied too.
Dean Stehman drew an extremely good version of Porter's Monster, I liked it so much that I built a 1/250 model. Dean's Original has the arrangement of machinery.
View attachment 41261
I have done my own reconstruction of this vessel, in conjunction with Kaz, the only difference being that Kaz groups his stacks amidships in a square.
View attachment 41262