Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Richmond in Chesterfield County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Hot Shot and Wooden Ships

 
 
Hot Shot and Wooden Ships Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 12, 2012
1. Hot Shot and Wooden Ships Marker
Inscription. It was the end of an era: the advent of the ironclad made traditional wooden-hulled warships obsolete. Despite this, the Confederates used a centuries-old device here: the hot-shot furnace. Inside the furnace, solid shot were heated red-hot. Clay wads of wet hay were then inserted between the powder and the ball to keep the heat from igniting the powder prematurely. When fired at a wooden ship, the sizzling missile could set the vessel ablaze.

The photographers who visited Drewry’s Bluff in 1865 found the quaint little hot-shot furnace irresistible, and made at least three different views of it. Not surprisingly, the furnace here was never used in battle. This incredible image was taken from where you now stand.

“Furnaces for heating shot are erected at the forts on the sea-coast. These furnaces hold sixty or more shot. The shot being placed, and the furnace cold, it requires one hour and fifteen minutes to heat them to a red heat....Small charges should be used in hot shot firing, varying from one-fourth to one-sixth of the weight of the ball. Balls fired with small velocities split the wood in a manner which is favorable to its burning....”
U.S. Army Heavy Artillery Manual, 1851
 
Erected 2011 by Richmond National Battlefield Park.
 
Location. 37° 25.316′ N, 77° 25.324′ W. Marker is near Richmond, Virginia, in Chesterfield County. Marker can be reached from Fort Darling Road half a mile north of Bellwood Road. Touch for map. This marker is located in the Drewry’s Bluff (Fort Darling) unit of Richmond National Battlefield Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7600 Fort Darling Road, Richmond VA 23237, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Perfect Gibraltar (a few steps from this marker); Finishing Fort Drewry (a few steps from this marker); The USS Monitor (within shouting distance of this marker); Drewry’s Bluff (within shouting distance of this marker); Duty Above and Beyond (within shouting distance of this marker); May 15, 1862—The Battle of Drewry's Bluff (within shouting distance of this marker); "A Very Neat Chapel" (within shouting distance of this marker); Covered Way (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richmond.
 
Also see . . .
1. Drewry’s Bluff. Richmond National Battlefield Park (Submitted on May 14, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

2. Drewry’s Bluff. Civil War Richmond (Submitted on May 14, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 14, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 394 times since then and 34 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on May 14, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
Paid Advertisement