Grant’s Gunboats: The Timberclads

I planned to write-up a post about the two timberclad gunboats – the USS Lexington and USS Tyler – that covered the Belmont expedition.  These two gunboats, under Commander Henry Walke, escorted Grant’s steamboat transports then engaged the Confederate batteries on the Iron Bluffs at Columbus.  As the Federals reembarked in the late afternoon, lacking a reserve force to cover the operations these two gunboats again covered the Army troops.  To say these two timberclads saved Grant would be an accurate statement… and not just for Belmont.  The very same gunboats performed ship-to-shore bombardment covering the Federal troops at a place called Pittsburg Landing in Tennessee six months later.

I say “planned to write-up,” as I soon recalled just such a posting made last year for the Civil War Navy Sesquicentennial page.  So instead of reposting similar information, I’ll direct readers there for the service and particulars of the USS Tyler, and sister ships.

Speaking of the Navy Sesquicentennial, the team there has focused posts this week on another concurrently sesquicentennial themed event – the Battle of Port Royal.  Postings thus far include Navy Leadership at Port Royal (by Matt Eng), Storms off the Carolina Coast (by Seaman Rob), Brother against Brother at Port Royal (by Sarah Adler), and The Confederate Navy at Port Royal (by Seaman Rob).  I’m supposed to get a post in there, but alas time has not been an abundant resource for me lately!

And speaking of speaking… I’ll be discussing the Battle of Belmont at the Bull Run Civil War Roundtable on Thursday evening.  The meeting kicks off around 7:00 pm, at the Centreville Regional Library, 14200 St. Germain Drive, Centreville, VA.


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