Ericsson’s Obstruction Remover tried again at Charleston

When the U.S. Navy attempted to pass Fort Sumter in April 1863, one feared component of the Confederate defenses were the obstructions and torpedoes anchored between Fort Sumter and Sullivan’s Island.  Seven months later and those obstructions still barred the Federals from Charleston harbor.  Rear-Admiral John Dahlgren cited them in his assessment of the situationContinue reading “Ericsson’s Obstruction Remover tried again at Charleston”

XV-inch Dahlgrens: Heavy guns for the monitors

On April 7, 1863, the Navy brought the heaviest guns in service to the entrance to Charleston, South Carolina. The action was not a combat debut for the XV-inch Dahlgren gun.  But the appearance of seven monitors, each sporting one of these massive cannons, was a ominous turn for Confederate defenders.  Not only could theContinue reading “XV-inch Dahlgrens: Heavy guns for the monitors”

The “Devil” or the Ericsson Obstruction Remover, as you prefer

Discussing the ironclad attack of April 7, 1863 yesterday, I mentioned the “raft” carried into battle by the USS Weehawken. Drawings of this device often appear with discussions concerning the Confederate maritime torpedoes. It is often cited as the countermeasure for the Confederate weapon. The raft design came from the genius John Ericsson. The NavyContinue reading “The “Devil” or the Ericsson Obstruction Remover, as you prefer”