Civil War Union Naval Ship
USS Essex (1861-1865).
Named New Era during 1861
USS Essex , a 1000-ton ironclad river gunboat, was converted in stages from the steam ferry New Era . Originally constructed at New Albany, Indiana, in 1856, the ship was purchased in September 1861 by the U.S. Army for its Western Gunboat Flotilla. Modified into a 355-ton "timberclad" gunboat, and retaining the name New Era , she took part in an expedition up the
Cumberland River in November 1861. Renamed Essex soon thereafter, she received iron armor and other changes and was then actively employed in operations during early 1862, engaging Confederate gunboats near Lucas Bend, Missouri, on 11 January. On 6 February, she was badly damaged by enemy gunfire during an attack on Fort Henry, Tennessee.
During subsequent repairs, Essex ' Commanding Officer, William D. Porter , spared little expense (albeit without official authorization) in upgrading his ship into one of the most powerful ironclads on the Western Rivers. Lengthened, widened, reengined, rearmored and completely altered in appearance, Essex was back in service in time for operations against Vicksburg,
Mississippi, in July. On the 22th of that month she ran past the enemy fortress city, engaging and damaging the Confederate ironclad Arkansas along the way. After joining Rear Admiral Farragut's squadron as the only Federal ironclad on the lower Mississippi, she helped repel an attack on Baton Rouge, Louisiana,
on 5 August and was instrumental in the destruction of the Arkansas the next day.
Essex was formally transferred to the Navy in October 1862 and remained active on the rivers through the rest of the Civil War. She bombarded Port Hudson, Louisiana, and helped with the occupation of Baton Rouge in December 1862. In May-July 1863 she participated in the capture of Port Hudson. She took part in the Red River expedition in
March-May 1864. Essex was decommissioned in July 1865. After her sale to private interests in November of that year, she reverted to the name New Era . She was scrapped in 1870.
Coaling at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in late July 1862, just after she reached the lower Mississippi. Ships of Farragut's fleet are in the background.
Life in Mr. Lincoln's Navy
A tantalizing glimpse into the hardships endured by the naval leadership to build and recruit a fighting force. The seaman endured
periods of boredom, punctuated by happy social times and terrifying bouts of battle horror
The CSS Virginia
The CSS Virginia of the Confederate States Navy
destroyed two of the most formidable warships in the U.S. Navy. Suddenly, with this event, every wooden warship in every navy in the world became totally obsolete
Confederate Submarines and Torpedo Vessels 1861-65
information and many excellent illustrations. It addresses the CSA David class torpedo boats and the Hunley (and its predecessors), as well as Union examples such as the Alligator and the Spuyten Duyvil
At a Mississippi River area port, circa 1862-65.
Note: The original caption identified location and date as Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in July 1862. However, the presence of a mortar boat (at right) indicates that either the date is later or the location is above Vicksburg if the photo was taken in 1862.
Moored at Memphis, Tennessee, with her awnings up, during the Civil War.
Note mortar boats alongside Essex , also with awnings deployed, and small building atop the bluff, toward the left, marked "Pittsburgh COAL", with the Pittsburgh Coal Company's castle symbol between "CO" and "AL".
Wash drawing by R.G. Skerrett, 1904, depicting the ship with Farragut's fleet on the lower Mississippi River, in 1862-63.
Ship in the left background is USS Mississippi (1841-1863). A "90-day" gunboat is in the right distance.
Sketches by William M.C. Philbrick, Carpenter's Mate on USS Portsmouth , showing Essex as she appeared on the morning of 1 November 1862, on the Mississippi River
"Commodore Foote's Gun-boat Flotilla on the Mississippi"
Line engraving after a sketch by Alexander Simplot, published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862.
Ships are identified below the image as (from left
to right): Mound City , Essex , Cairo , Saint Louis , Louisville , Benton , Pittsburg and Lexington
1860 Enfield Civil War Musketoon
This piece is a full-size
non-firing reproduction of the rifle used in the Civil War. The body is made of European hardwood
Civil War Cannon
Collectible Models and childrens
Miniature Collectible Civil War Cannon12 pound Civil War field cannon replica weapon
Sid Meier's Civil War Collection
Take command of either
Confederate or Union troops and command them to attack from the trees, rally around the general, or do any number of other realistic military actions. History Channel
Civil War A Nation Divided
Rally the troops and organize a counterattack -- Your strategic decision and talent as a commander will decide if the Union is preserved or if Dixie wins its independence
Confederate Ironclad 1861-65
Every aspect of Confederate ironclads is
covered: design, construction, armor, armament, life on board, strategy, tactics, and actual combat actions.
Battle on the Bay:
The Civil War Struggle for Galveston
Civil War history of Galveston is one of the last untold stories from America's bloodiest war, despite the fact that Galveston was a focal point of hostilities throughout the conflict. Galveston emerged as one of the Confederacy's only lifelines to the outside world.
The H. L. Hunley
The Secret Hope of the Confederacy
On the evening of February 17, 1864,
the Confederacy H. L. Hunley
sank the USS Housatonic
and became the first submarine in world history to sink an enemy ship. Not until World War I "half a century later” would a submarine again accomplish such a feat. But also perishing that moonlit night, vanishing beneath the cold Atlantic waters off Charleston, South Carolina, was the Hunley
her entire crew of eight
Confederate Blockade Runner 1861-65
The blockade runners of the Civil War
usually began life as regular fast steam-powered merchant ships. They were adapted for the high-speed dashes through the Union blockade which closed off all the major Southern ports, and for much of the war they brought much-needed food, clothing and weaponry to the Confederacy
Union Monitor 1861-65
The first seagoing ironclad was the USS Monitor, and
its profile has made it one of the most easily recognised warships of all time. Following her inconclusive battle with the Confederate ironclad Virginia on March 9, 1862, the production of Union monitors was accelerated. By the end of the year a powerful squadron of monitor vessels protected the blockading squadrons off the Southern coastline, and were able to challenge Confederate control of her
ports and estuaries
Confederate Submarines and Torpedo Vessels 1861-65
Interesting information and many excellent illustrations. It addresses the CSA David class torpedo boats and the Hunley (and its predecessors), as well as Union examples such as the Alligator and the Spuyten Duyvil
Halls of Honor
The U.S. Navy Museum takes you on an informed and entertaining romp
through one of North America s oldest and finest military museums. The museum has been in continuous operation at the Washington Navy Yard since the American Civil War
Raise The Alabama
She was known as "the ghost ship." During the Civil War, the CSS
Alabama sailed over 75,000 miles and captured more than 60 Union vessels. But her career came to an end in June of 1864 when she was sunk by the USS Kearsarge off the coast of Northern France
The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns
Here is the saga of celebrated generals and ordinary
soldiers, a heroic and transcendent president and a country that had to divide itself in two in order to become one
U.S. National Park Service
U.S. Library of Congress
US Naval Archives
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