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Part Four--CIVIL WAR "FIRSTS" Experimentation and Trials in Many Naval Inventions which Involved Death

U.S. Civil War Naval Ships, Men and Battles--Confederate and Union
A Part of My Civil War Weapons & Warfare Activity Page
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Experimentation and Trials in Many Naval Inventions Involved Death

. . . Confederate Navy Lieutenant John A. Payne of CSS Chicora volunteered to be Hunley's skipper, and a volunteer crew of seven men from CSS Chicora and CSS Palmetto State was assembled to operate the submarine. On August 29, 1863, Hunley's new crew was preparing to make a test dive to learn the operation of the submarine when Lieutenant Payne accidentally stepped on the lever controlling the sub's diving planes while the boat was running. This caused Hunley to dive with her hatches still open, flooding the submarine. Payne and two others escaped, while the remaining five crewmen drowned.

On October 15, 1863 Hunley failed to surface during a mock attack, killing Hunley and seven other crewmen. In both cases, the Confederate Navy salvaged the vessel and returned her to service.


A . . . Ships of old were made of wood and were powered with wind, but in the middle 1800's Europe was building ships with iron sheeting, and steam was being used for power.  The steam engine on a ship was first introduced by Robert Fulton in America.  Make an illustrated timeline of the evolution of the ship from wood to iron.  Mention important developments and inventors and dates. Use the Civil War Trust site for information.
B . . . List and describe the types of steamship engines.  Make a poster or computer presentation illustrating the types.  Use Wikepedia at Marine_steam_engine for diagrams and descriptions.
C . . . With the large steamers, new and larger armaments were needed for the battle ships.  The variety of cannons on ships are illustrated and described at naval_guns.html
D . . . Rear Admiral John Dahlgren, U.S.N.,  was an inventor and Naval hero, called "the Father of American Ordinance."  Make a short presentation or poster including a short biography of Dahlgren, and a diagram of the Dahlgren with description of what made this important weapon/invention different from existing cannons.    Go to the Dahlgren Cannon Page for information.


E . . . "Ironclads are said to master the world, but torpedoes [mines] master the ironclads!"  General G. J. Rains, Chief of the Confederate Torpedo Service   General G. J. Rains, Chief of the Confederate Torpedo Service - See more at: Thomaslegion.net site to help with this order.


       Another important naval invention was the torpedo or mine.  Make a presentation or poster including a history of the invention and/or development of the torpedo and the mine.  Include what they looked like, how they worked, and examples of ships sunk by a mine or torpedo. 


Check the U.S. Navy Civil War Sesquicentennial Blog Site for a Series of Articles

Use "New Technologies of the Civil War" for Information

You can record your answers in a Navy Form each part of the activity.

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