The Civil War Connections Blog

Monthly Archives: September 2011

It’s kinda obvious who read the instructions….

The Ironclad Board’s September 16, 1861 document continued – with their recommendations for construction:   We have made a synopsis of the propositions and specifications submitted, which we annex, and now proceed to state, in brief, the results of our decisions upon the offers presented to us. J. Ericsson, New York, page 19 – This plan […]

…zealously claiming the attention…

Report on Ironclad Vessels Navy Department Bureau of Yards and Docks,September 16, 1862 Sir: The undersigned, constituting a board appointed by your order of the 8th ultimo, proceeded to the duty assigned to them, in accordance with the first section of an act of Congress, approved 3d of August 1861, directing the Secretary of the […]

“your duty to the country…”

To John Ericsson’s surprise, when he arrived at the Navy Department on September 15, 1861, he found that not only was he not expected, but that his plan had been rejected! Cornelius Bushnell had conveniently left that bit out.  When Ericsson inquired as to the reasons for the rejection, Commodore Smith replied that because of […]

“I will go to-night!”

Bushnell immediately traveled to New York to entreat John Ericsson to come back with him to Washington DC.  Ericsson was adamant in his refusal to speak with the Navy – he was still smarting from their misplaced censure from the USS Princeton incident in 1844.  Bushnell would have to play to Ericsson’s vanity to get the […]

“It strikes me there’s something in it…”

The Ironclad Board was not pleased when it learned that the design Bushnell was promoting belonged to John Ericsson.  But Bushnell would not give up on Ericsson’s strange design.  He used his friendship with Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles to insinuate himself into a meeting with President Lincoln and the Ironclad Board on September […]

Two guys named Cornelius walk into a hotel…

Cornelius Delamater spent time in WashingtonD.C.during the summer of 1861 seeking favor with the Navy Department.  A successful New York businessman, Delamater had taken a small company – The Phoenix Foundry – and transformed it into a major iron works which dominated the waterfront between 13th and 14th Streets in Manhattan. The Cornelius H. Delamater […]

Pook’s plan, Bushnell’s backing

One of the plans that was submitted for the Ironclad Board’s consideration was that of an iron gunboat to be named the Galena. This vessel was a 210-foot-long, sail-rigged vessel with six guns in her broadside. Designed by Samuel H. Pook of Connecticut, she would feature a curved, sloped casemate, 3 1/4 inches of iron plate, and […]