Monday, June 17, 2013

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,  

June 17, 1863 - Maiden voyage – and death ride – of the mighty CSS Atlanta.

            Historical Event:  The ladies of Savannah sold their family silver and jewels to pay for the transformation of the blockade runner Fingal into the mighty ironclad CSS Atlanta, (see picture below, courtesy Navy Historical Society) and they stood waving on the shore as she came down the Savannah River on her way to break the Yankee blockade.  The ironclad ram, fitted with a torpedo spar and four big guns looked imposing – but her engines, sadly, were not up to the task of navigating Wassaw Sound.  As she struggled to free herself from a sandbar, the Union monitors USS Weehawken and Nahant pounced.  The former’s 11-inch Dahlgren’s pounded the helpless Rebel warship, whose crew, though brave, proved no match for the Yankee Guns.

            Game Connection:  Confederate ironclads were notoriously underpowered, and that is reflected by USN Card 47 (Engine Breakdown).  Admiral Dahlgren, as commandant of the Navy Yard (which appears on the top right of center on the map) helped develop and produce powerful weapons which bore his name – as noted in USN Card 31 (John Dahlgren) and USN Card 3 (Yankee Guns).

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