USS Cairo

Discussion in '1800-1914' started by beaupower32, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

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    About a month ago I went on vacation to see my family in Louisiana. Well on the way down we stoped in Vicksburg, Mississippi to visit the Civil War battle ground. This was my second time and the first time my wife has been there. Dont know if many of you know this but they have a Ironclad that has been restored. I wanted to share this with you for if you ever go to Vicksburg, be sure to stop by and see this. There is also a 16 Mile drive to view the entire battlefield. Anyways, I posted pictures of the USS Cairo as she look back then and the way she looks today. If you noticed the gaping hole in the hull on the port side in the front, that is where the mine/torpedo hit causing the Cairo to sink. Alot of the wood is still original, being a grey color, if you look at the bow, that is all original wood. And all the original steal is painted black, including the engines. The cannons are all original from the Cairo. They said when they found the ships bell, there was still air traped inside from when it sank. Here are some specs:

    Class: City Ironclad River Gunboat
    Launched: December 1861
    At: Mound City, Illinois
    Commissioned: January 15, 1862
    Sunk: December 12, 1862.

    Length: 175 feet
    Beam: 51 feet, 2 inches
    Draft: 6 feet
    Displacement: 512 tons
    Armament: three Army 42-pounder rifles; three Navy smoothbore 64-pounders; 6 Navy smoothbore 32-pounders; one 30-pounder Parrott

    In the same year she was commissioned, USS Cairo had the dubious distinction of being the first armored vessel in the history of warfare to be sunk by an electrically detonated torpedo, today called a mine. On December 12, 1862, in the Yazoo River approximately 10 miles north of Vicksburg, Cairo was struck by two torpedoes, sinking in less than 12 minutes with no loss of life.

    After 102 years beneath the muddy waters of the Yazoo River, Cairo was raised in 1964, by a group of private citizens who called themselves "Operation Cairo." Currently on display within the Vicksburg National Military Park, Cairo is the only surviving vessel of her class. Original guns and carriages are mounted on the vessel. Visitors to the site can walk aboard a reconstructed portion of the gundeck and view the original engines, boilers, pilothouse and remaining iron. Adjacent to the outdoor vessel exhibit, the Cairo Museum exhibits smaller items recovered from the boat such as sailors' personal possessions, cookware and weaponry.
     
  2. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Man, that's the great thing about history in general, you never know what's going to turn up:eek:
     
  3. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I had no idea about her, THANKS for posting!
     
  4. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Cool photos, thanks for sharing!
     
  5. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    Great photos and info! Thanks for posting them.
    Looking at the first picture I must say that forward deck is too close to the waterline for my taste. :)
     
  6. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, she sat pretty low in the water, but needed to for crusing in the Rivers. I remember standing by it and it was probly 7 or 8 feet from bottom of the boat to the deck. Very shallow draft indeed.
     
  7. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    Off the beach at Fort Morgan on Mobile bay lies a Monitor type ironclade the Tecumseh. My brother has dove on it, but only the top of the turret was visible. I have heard that now it is completely covered. I have always wondered why someone has not started a program to raise this historic ship design.
     
  8. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    I've been to the Cairo but i never heard of that... how long ago did your bro dive it?

    Cairo is amazing... good post!
     
  9. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    That was interesting.

    Thanks!
     
  10. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    Probably 30- 40 years ago. I heard that Ivan completely covered it up.
     
  11. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Great thread beaupower! I didn't know the ship even existed. Will have to look it up. Thanks again!:thumbright:
     
  12. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Great find and thanks for posting. Would love to see it in person.
     
  13. DBII

    DBII Active Member

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    thanks for sharing. cool photo.

    DBII
     
  14. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    Great stuff beau!

    Thanks!

    TO
     
  15. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Great post! I've been to parts of the battleground, my family would spend an hour or two looking at cannons and stuff while driving between Georgia (where Dad was stationed) and Texas (where family lives) for vacations. We'd always spend the night in Vicksburg, but as kids we were more interested in the hotel swimming pool and ordering pizza than in looking at musty old battlefields. I've wanted to try to get back there again.
     
  16. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    Cool post BP. :thumbup:


    Wheels
     
  17. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys, I really enjoyed walking among her decks. I could imagine sailing along the river and just hearing the hum of the engines and splash of the paddle boards.
     
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