Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Southern Belles Fund the “Ladies’ Ironclad” CSS Charleston

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.

January 29, 1864 –   Southern Belles Fund the “Ladies’ Ironclad” CSS Charleston

Historical Event:  On January 29, 1864 the naval yards at Charleston completed the fitting out of the ironclad ram that bore the city’s name.  Funds for the CSS Charleston were raised by “The Ladies Gun-Boat Society,” which hence led to it being nicknamed “The Ladies’ Ironclad.”  

Despite its rather cute epithet, the casemate ram CSS Charleston was a formidable and manly warship, encased in four inches of armor.  With two nine-inch smoothbore guns (one each fore and aft) and four seven-inch Brooke rifles (two per broadside) the “Ladies’ Ironclad” was meant for close-in action in defense of the harbor, and was also fitted with a heavy wrought iron ram.   When completed it was chosen, quite appropriately, as the flagship for the Charleston Squadron.   When Union forces marched on the city by land in February, 1865, the warship was scuttled and blown up by its crew.

Game Connection:    CSS Charleston herself does not appear as a separate card or counter in Rebel Raiders on the High Seas, and is instead represented by the generic Ironclad counters.  The Southern player can build ironclads in Confederate ports, and there are cards that can cause ironclads to show up in such ports in response to a Union attack  (notably CSN Card 78 – Mallory’s Miracle)

Images:  KHS 1:600 model and Ecardmodels 1/250th scale CSS Charleston

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