View single post by CleburneFan
 Posted: Thu May 28th, 2009 11:55 pm
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CleburneFan
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Just by coincidence I have been reading "Vicksburg 1861" by Winston Groom. In it, he states that Commander David Dixon Porter had a flotilla of mortar boats that carried thirteen-inch mortars. These were used to blast  New Orleans, Vicksburg and also Port Hudson from the Mississippi River.  Needless to say, the size of the schooner  limited only one mortar per boat.

An 1862 issue of Harper's Weekly has an article that stated each mortar weighed 17,600 pounds and employed balls weighing 241 pounds with a range of three miles. The flotiila was assembled in Key West in early 1862. I cannot prove it or find information to prove it, but my guess is those mortars may have been manufactured in 1861 or possibly earlier. I cannot find out what foundry made these mortars.

I also don't know what eventually became of these mortars or if any exist today.

Please check these two web sites. The second has an excellent photograph of one of Porter's schooners with a thirteen inch mortar.

http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/civil-war/1862/february/porters-mortar-boats-flotilla.htm

http://www.usna.edu/Library/SpecialCollections/Findingaids/watsonsmith.html

Rereading all your posts, I see you already are ahead of me and know about Porter's mortar flotilla and that it spent time in Key West. I hope the little bit of extra information I was able to find was of some help. Now you've made me interested in this topic too and I will see what more I can dig up.

Last edited on Fri May 29th, 2009 12:04 am by CleburneFan

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