CSS ''Arkansas''

  • Warships Of History
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Launched in April, 1862 - The CSS "Arkansas" was a Confederate States Naval Ironclad, assigned to The Western Theater of War. Displaced at 800 tons, she wad constructed almost entirely out of railroad iron. "Arkansas" was 165 feet long and stood 35 feet tall. Capable of a maximum speed of 8 knots (9 mph), she crewed 232 Officers and Men (inclusive of 60 Volunteer Riflemen from Missouri). She was equipped with 10 cannon of the largest and well known ordnance available (Brooke, Dahlgren and Columbiad). The CSS "Arkansas" made her claim to History at The Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi. The River was blockaded by a Flotilla of Federal ships under Admiral David Farragut. Outnumbered 2 to 1, "Arkansas" (using her cast iron Ram, on deck Riflemen and support from Vicksburg's cannon), broke the blockade with little damage to herself). Although no Federal ships were sunk, an estimated 100 enemy were killed and wounded. By August of 1862, "Arkansas" was destined to participate in The Battle of Baton Rogue, Louisiana. Unfortunately, her steam boiler leaked and wet her store of gunpowder. The Ironclad made shore and (using tarpes), "sun dried" the powder. But the delay was fatal. The boiler was too severely damaged to repair and (with The Union Fleet barring down)  her now dried powder was used to scuttle the warship. Her stores completely destroyed "Arkansas", sending her to the bottom of the River.