Saturday, April 13, 2013

Aye Candy: Confederate Ironclad Texas



Renders of a digital model of the Confederate casemate ironclad Texas, as she might have looked if completed as planned in 1865. Texas was laid down at Rocketts, the shipyard on the east bank of the James River below Richmond, in the late summer of 1863. Texas was similar in form to other ironclads designed by John L. Porter, but featured a very short casemate housing only four guns. The casemate was fitted with eight gunports – three each ahead and astern, each set served by a single gun on a pivot, and one gun on each broadside. Texas differed from most Confederate ironclads in having two screws, which may have been a choice forced on the builders by the availability of machinery.

When Richmond was evacuated ahead of advancing Federal armies on April 2, 1865, Texas was still being plated with armor, and had yet to have her engines installed. The nearly-complete ironclad was abandoned where she lay.

This model is based on plans of Texas by David Meagher, published in John Coski’s superb history, Capital Navy: The Men, Ships and Operations of the James River Squadron. Meagher’s drawings of Texas are (as always) finely-drawn and detailed. I departed from them in a few places, though, that need mentioning.

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