USS New Ironsides

USS New Ironsides was a wooden-hulled broadside ironclad built for the U.S. Navy during the American Civil War. She spent most of her career blockading the Confederate ports of Charleston, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1863–65. Her only casualty in combat occurred when she was struck by a spar torpedo carried by the CSS David. Eight crewmen were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions during the Second Battle of Fort Fisher in 1865.

About USS New Ironsides in brief

Summary USS New IronsidesUSS New Ironsides was a wooden-hulled broadside ironclad built for the U.S. Navy during the American Civil War. She spent most of her career blockading the Confederate ports of Charleston, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1863–65. Her only casualty in combat occurred when she was struck by a spar torpedo carried by the CSS David. Eight crewmen were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions during the Second Battle of Fort Fisher in 1865. The ship was destroyed by fire in 1865 after she was placed in reserve. She was the most conservative design of the three, which copied many of the features of the French ironclad Gloire. The USS Monitor’s most innovative design was its rotating gun turret, something that had not previously been tested by any navy. It was built by Merrick & Sons of Philadelphia, but they did not have a slipway so they subcontracted the ship to William Cramp & Sons. The main armament was originally to consist of 16 smoothbore, muzzle-loading 9-inch guns mounted on the gun deck. However, the navy was less impressed by the performance of the 9-grensgrens during the Battle of Hampton Roads and wanted more powerful 11-inches guns. The design was changed while the ship was under construction to accommodate 14 11inch guns and two muzzleloading 8-inch muzzleloading guns on the deck. A two-piece articulated rudder was fitted to the ship, but it proved unsatisfactory in service as the ship became more unmanageable as her speed increased.

She displaced 4,120 long tons, 495 long tons more than her designed displacement. She had a rectangular ram that projected 6 feet forward from her bow, and she had a wide beam and a flat bottom to minimize her draft. The hull was coppered to reduce fouling. She carried three barque-rigged with three masts that were only used for long-distance voyages, with their rigging removed, once on station. The best speed under sail and steam together was only about 7 knots. The ship had a beam of 57 feet 6 inches and a draft of 15 feet 8 inches. The ship’s crew consisted of 449 officers and men. It had two simple horizontal two-cylinder direct-acting steam engines driving a single brass 13-foot propeller. It carried 350 long tons of coal and her propeller could be disengaged to reduce drag while under sail alone. The U. S. Navy advertised for proposals for “iron-clad steam vessels of war” on 7 August and Gideon Welles, the Secretary of the Navy, appointed the three members of the Ironclad Board the following day. They evaluated 17 different designs, but recommended only three on 16 September. The three ironclad ships differed substantially in design and degree of risk and total dependence on steam power. The wooden- hulled USS Galena’s most novel feature was her armor of interlocking iron rails.