Friday, July 26, 2013

The Ships of Rebel Raiders - The Ironclads

Rebel Raiders on the High Seas is a strategic game of the Civil War which focuses on the role of the navies on the rivers, along the coasts and on the oceans.  While most ships are represented by generic counters for Ironclads, Blockade Runners, Gunboats, Screw Sloops and, of course Raiders, there are cards and corresponding counters for many individual vessels.  This series presents those cards and offers a glimpse into the history of these storied ships.

Part IV– The Union Ironclads : USS Carondelet  “Pook’s Turtle” vs. Hood
USS Carondelet (USN Card 15) was a City-Class ironclad built in the Missouri city for which it was named.  One of the shallow-draft “Pook’s Turtles” designed by Samuel Pook, she was commissioned at Cairo in January 1862 and was one of the first and most powerful ships in the Western Gunboat Flotilla of Flag Officer Andrew Foote (who is one of the Union leaders in Rebel Raiders).

The ironclad fought at Forts Henry and Donelson , Island No. 10, and Memphis, and was badly damaged in a close action duel with the Confederate ironclad CSS Arkansas on the Yazoo River.  She was repaired in time to run the guns at Vicksburg in April 1863 (see U.S. Postage stamp shown below), and was also part of the Red River Fiasco (represented in the game by CSN Card 76).

USS Carondelet survived that disaster, and went back up the Cumberland in December 1864 to duel with Rebel artillery during the Nashville campaign – and later pouring heavy fire into the flank of John Bell Hood’s army when General Thomas counterattacked.  (Hood and his last, desperate effort to turn the tide are represented by CSN Card 89, which bear’s the luckless general’s name).

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