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Steamships of The Civil War Time

In the early years of the war many civilian ships were confiscated for military use, while both sides built new ships. The most popular ships were tinclads—mobile, small ships that actually contained no tin. These ships were former merchant ships, generally about 150 feet in length, with about two to six feet of draft, and about 200 tons. Shipbuilders would remove the deck and add an armored pilothouse as well as sheets of iron around the forward part of the casemate and the engines. Most of the tinclads had six guns: two or three twelve-pounder or twenty-four-pounder howitzers on each broadside, with two heavier guns, often thirty-two-pounder smoothbores or thirty-pounder rifles, in the bow. These ships proved faster than ironclads and, with such a shallow draft, worked well on the tributaries of the Mississippi.
Gunboat "Mendota", Deep Bottom, James River, Va.
553 Media in collectionpage 1 of 6

Stony Point, near Gibraltar, on the Hudson River, U.S. July 24th 1846

Drawing shows a steamship on the Hudson River, with a view of the lighthouse at Stony Point, New York.

Design and model of the new steamer America, for the western lakes

Print showing port side view of the steamer America.

[Paddle wheel mechanism of side-wheel steamer]

Drawing is third panel on the "Machinery Scroll", depicting Perry's expedition to Japan in 1853.

[U.S.S. Susquehanna, Commodore Perry's flag ship, full starboard view]

Drawing is on the "Susquehanna & Mississippil Scroll", depicting Perry's expedition to Japan.

River boat on the Potomac

Sketch shows a sidewheel steamboat on the Potomac River. Wallis was a British Commissioner from the Foreign Office to the United States in 1853.

[Port views of the U.S.S. Susquehanna and the U.S.S. Mississippi understeam]

Drawings are panels one and two of the "Machinery scroll' depicting Perry's expedition to Japan, 1853.

Map of the Philadelphia & Baltimore Rail Road as located by W. Strickland & B. H. Latrobe, Esqrs., civ. engineers. Showing also the present route by steamboat & the N. Castle R. Road, & that proposed to be constructed by way of Oxford & Port-Deposit.

Map of an area between Philadelphia and Baltimore showing drainage, cities and towns, post roads, and boundaries. Chartered in Maryland in May, 1852. [From published bibliography].

View of the U.S. Mail Steamship Company's premises, Aspinwall, N.G.

Colon, Panama Canal Zone. Busy dock activity - railroad mail cars and mail steamships.

Scene on the Delaware River at Philada. during the severe winter of 1856 / from nature and on stone by J. Queen.

Print shows many people from Philadelphia ice skating on the Delaware River, possibly near the Philadelphia Navy Yard, "during the severe winter of 1856."

Battle of Bad Axe = Schlacht von Bad Axe / H. Lewis pinx ; Lith. Inst. Arnz & Co., Dusseldorf.

Illustration shows an American steamship, the Warrior, firing at Indians on a raft. In the background, other Indians in boats.

From Grays Ferry looking south / Jas. Queen.

Drawing shows two steamboats at dock and four riverboats or barges on the Schuylkill River, with marsh in the foreground.

Transatlantic sketches--the Mississippi River

Wood engravings showing three views of the Mississippi River, captioned: 1. Down the lower Mississippi--from the Baton Rouge; 2. Voyageurs ascending the lower Mississippi; 3. Woodchopper's hut, lower Mississippi.

Chesapeake & Patapsco

Four scenes of rivers, lighthouses, ships and boats.

Scene on the upper Mississippi (Am Ober-Mississippi)

Two steamboats and raft in foreground.

U.S. Gun Boat "Fanny"

Broadside view of steamship.

U.S. Gun Boat "Seminole"

Broadside view of steamship.

U.S. Gun Boat "Daylight"

Broadside view of steamship.

U.S. gunboat Lexington [i.e. Tyler] - Mississippi River Fleet

Photograph shows a Union timberclad, the U.S.S. Tyler.

U.S. gunboat Tyler - Mississippi River Fleet

Photograph shows a Union timberclad, the U.S.S. Tyler.

The United States gun-boat "Wyandotte" firing a salute on Washington's Birthday in Pensacola Harbor / drawn by an officer of Lieut. Slemmer's command.

Shown are the gun-boat "Wyandotte," and in the background left to right Fort Barrancas, Barrancas barracks, and United States Marine Hospital.

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