Continuing the discussion of 13-inch mortars in action, I’ve posted an article on the Civil War Navy Sesquicentennial blog detailing the Navy’s mortar schooners used below New Orleans. The piece complements a series of cross-posts between the CWN150 blog and the Civil War Monitor’s Front Line blog, all focused on the campaign to take New Orleans. The posts thus far also include a look at how the sketch artists covered the action.
As I indicate in the post, the mortars failed to meet expectations. That continued a trend seen at Fort Pulaski and at Island No. 10. Were the mortars simply inadequate or defective? I wouldn’t go that far. A better way to put it – heavy mortars alone could not bring about the reduction of enemy works, but provided a valuable component to any besieging force. And while the physical damage was not as extensive as predicted, perhaps the psychological effect made up for the shortfall.