Photo Analysis: Confederate Torpedo Boat David

georgew

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Messages
832
Location
southern california
I'll take a little more time later, but I'd like to note that I have often wondered myself if this could in fact be the original David. Its details are extremely reminiscent of Chapman's painting, and while it's not impossible that it could be a sister ship, these things weren't exactly turned out on an assembly line; so "sisters" weren't necessarily identical...

(Courtesy of one of your earlier posts):

View attachment 261192
Take a good look at this painting. Note the linear line extending from the crewman forward in the blue shirt aft above the waterline to about where the man in the red shirt is sitting. This looks like a wale to me and I think the drawing depicts the application of iron curved strips from the cuddy to the wale. If you go from the bow of the boat roped to the TB straight up you see what appears to be another curved section of iron up on the dock. Because of the width of the strips it looks like boiler iron. I don't think RR strap iron came this wide.
 

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

georgew

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Messages
832
Location
southern california
Hi Rebel, I just spotted your comments. The specifications you list above for a pair of torpedo boats to be built in the UK and the description of its intended weapons is identical to the description given by a member of the Singer organization for the boats to have been built at Wilmington and Selma. Where did you get the information they were to be built in the UK and later sold to Russia? I find it difficult to believe that it would have been possible to deliver such vessels to the Confederacy unless they were taken into tow across the atlantic and cut loose off-shore within range of their coal store.
 

JohnDLittlefield

Sergeant
Joined
Jan 8, 2016
Messages
808
Location
Charlestonian displaced to Bodrum,Turkey
Take a good look at this painting. Note the linear line extending from the crewman forward in the blue shirt aft above the waterline to about where the man in the red shirt is sitting. This looks like a wale to me and I think the drawing depicts the application of iron curved strips from the cuddy to the wale. If you go from the bow of the boat roped to the TB straight up you see what appears to be another curved section of iron up on the dock. Because of the width of the strips it looks like boiler iron. I don't think RR strap iron came this wide.
It is a wale, but a wooden wale. There are other depictions of it. (Note, the blue-shirt crewman is facing the stern- the bolier was forward of the crew cubby, the air vents face aft, and the stationary spar holder is in place on the bow.) The Chapman painting was made 28 October- three weeks after the New Ironsides attack & the spar had been replaced with a stationary spar or iron by the Navy. I am pretty sure that the curved piece seemingly reached for the dock is the iron spar with torpedo in place, but backwards to keep it safe and out of the water.) The iron was definitely strips, about 5" wide. I have the invoice from the application of the iron from Eason Bros.


I find it difficult to believe that it would have been possible to deliver such vessels to the Confederacy unless they were taken into tow across the atlantic and cut loose off-shore within range of their coal store.
Towing the vessels was ridiculously perilous (evidenced by the loss of two that were towed North after the war). Instead, they would have loaded the TBs on-deck of larger vessels (also evidenced by two instances of Davids being taken North after the war). I have ships logs to document all these events.
 
Last edited:


Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top