This day 150 years ago in Rebel Raiders’ History
-Dedicated to Civil War episodes, battles, people and ships that also appear in my game,
GMT’s Rebel Raiders on the High Seas.
Silly Ships of the Civil War: The “Double-Ender” Gunboat Design Pays Off
Historical Event: The “double-ender” gunboat USS Cimarron captured the Confederate blockade runner Evening Star as she tried to slip through the close-in blockade of
. The “double-ender” sidewheel design
incorporated a rudder at each end so the ship could go in either direction
without having to turn around. They were
designed specifically for service in narrow inland waterways. Wassaw Sound, Georgia
The USS Cimarron was constructed in
and outfitted at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1862. The 860-ton vessel could only make 10 knots,
but carried a powerful arsenal of eight guns:
six 24-pound howitzers, one 9-inch smoothbore and one 100-pound rifle. She participated in several engagements and
caught three blockade runners during her service, the first of which was the
ill-fated “Evening Star” she took as a prize on May 29, 1863.
Game Connection: The Confederate player relies on his Blockade Runners to bring in cargo that translates into badly-needed Victory Points. These points are vital to Southern production, as they can be traded in for the additional ships, batteries, cards and counterattacks needed to match the growing industrial behemoth of the North. Gunboats play a key role in making it more difficult for these ships to deliver the goods, as gunboats can stack up in the Blockade Stations, thus increasing the odds of intercepting the Rebel vessels as they try to enter and then leave Rebel ports.
USS Cimarron, courtesy U.S. Naval Historical Center.