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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Clarksville in Montgomery County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Forts Versus Ironclads

 
 
Forts Versus Ironclads Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 31, 2015
1. Forts Versus Ironclads Marker
Inscription. The Confederate response to Union gunboats on the western rivers was to build a series of forts. The better forts were built on higher ground allowing for "plunging fire" upon Union ships. Forts Sevier, Clark, and Terry in Clarksville were located to protect the rivers and two railroad bridges. Fort Sevier's height above the river, however, would have slowed its rate of fire, as the downward angle of the guns would have been too steep. Fort Donelson was heavily armed against the gunboats with 12 guns including 32-pounder smoothbore cannons, a 10-inch Columbiad smoothbore and a 6.5 inch rifled Columbiad, and two 30-pounder Carronades. Fort Henry had 17 heavy guns facing the river. By contrast, Forts Sevier and Clark had a combined total of six heavy guns. These forts also used smaller 6 to 12-pounder cannons for land defense.
Some of the bigger guns were mounted on wooden carriages, called barbettes, which allowed for recoil and reloading. Barbettes swiveled on a central pole called the pintle. Columbiads were mounted on iron carriages strong enough to take the shock of their fire, but sometimes broke while firing, which happened at Forts Henry and Donelson.
Confronting the forts were Union "City Class" ironclad gunboats measuring 175 feet long by 51 feet wide and initially costing $89,600 each. Ironclads carried
Marker and earthen works. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 31, 2015
2. Marker and earthen works.
three 8-inch guns in the bow, with four 43-pounders and six-32 pounders mounted along the casemates - sloped, armored structures framed with wood 18 inches thick and covered by 2.5 inches of iron plate.
Union timberclad gunboats, converted from steamboats, lacked armor but carried heavy guns and were designed to attack other boats and troops close to the rivers.
 
Erected 2008 by the City of Clarksville.
 
Location. 36° 32.467′ N, 87° 22.434′ W. Marker is in Clarksville, Tennessee, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from A Street 0.1 miles south of Walker Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 120 Duncan Street, Clarksville TN 37042, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Building Fort Sevier (Defiance) (within shouting distance of this marker); Life as a Garrisoned Union Soldier (within shouting distance of this marker); Freedmen's Camp and the USCT (within shouting distance of this marker); Bringing the War to Clarksville (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fort Defiance Interpretive Center (about 400 feet away); Fort Defiance
Photos of ironclads from marker. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 31, 2015
3. Photos of ironclads from marker.
(about 400 feet away); Sevier Station (approx. 0.2 miles away); Valentine Sevier, Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Clarksville.
 
Also see . . .  Wikipedia article on the USS Cairo. (Submitted on January 3, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. War, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
 
Example 32-pounder smoothbore. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 31, 2015
4. Example 32-pounder smoothbore.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 3, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 155 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 3, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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