The Ships of Rebel Raiders - The Men o’ War
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.
USS New Ironsides:
First Armored Steam Frigate U.S.
The first of a new breed of modern warships, the USS New Ironsides (USN Card 26) was an ocean-going, wooden-hulled, armored man-o-war; a true battleship, with plenty of big guns, powerful steam engines – and even a ram, just in case.
Protected by 4.5 inches of belt armor, the USS New Ironsides would be hit many, many times by the Confederate guns she dueled with at Charleston and Fort Fisher – but like her namesake, the original “Old Ironsides” (USS Constitution) most shots seemed to bounce off; she was never seriously damaged by enemy fire. USS New Ironsides, however, did have the dubious distinction of being the first victim of a submarine (technically a “semi-submersible torpedo boat”)– when the
David (CSN Card 65) set off a spar torpedo on October 5, 1863.
Damage, however, was minor – USS New Ironsides remained on
(In Rebel Raiders, if the Confederate player declared an attack with the
David card on a Union warship, say the USS New Ironsides, each
side would roll one die, with the Confederate player adding one to his die if
his target is the only warship in the port or blockade space. If the Confederate die roll is higher, the
Union ship is sunk.)
USS New Ironsides was the flagship for Rear Admiral Samuel Francis DuPont (USN Card 54) during the April 1863 naval attack on
and the other defenses of Fort Sumter Charleston
harbor, and went back into the harbor for the second attack on Charleston. She also supported the abortive assault by
the gallant 54th Massachusetts
(as depicted in the movie, Glory) on , and took part in the two
bombardments of Fort
the second of which resulted in a Union victory in January 1865. Fort Fisher
Decommissioned and laid up in
after the war, she was the victim of an accidental fire, allegedly caused by a
watchman’s unattended stove, and burned and sank in December 1866.