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“ [141]

The Ozark

This hybrid-looking vessel was the first of the Federal attempts to adapt the monitor type of construction to the needs of the navy on the Western rivers. She was a cross between the Ericsson design (which she resembled in her turret and pilot-house) and the early type of river gunboat, apparent in her hull, stacks, and upper works. Her armament consisted of two 11-inch smooth-bores in the turret and a 12-pounder pivot-gun at the stern. Having joined Porter's Mississippi squadron early in 1864, she was the last of the entrapped vessels to get free above the Falls at Alexandria, in the Red River expedition. Porter pronounced her turret all right but considered her hull too high out of water, and declared that she lacked three inches of iron plating on her fifteen inches of oak. Porter had discovered, in running the batteries at Vicksburg, that heavy logs, hung perpendicularly on the sides of his gunboats, prevented shot of heavy size from doing more than slightly indenting the iron plating. He recommended that the three-inch plating of the “Ozark” would be adequate if it were covered on the outside with a facing of wood in addition to the wooden backing within.

The first inland monitor — the “Ozark

The “Ozark's” pivot-gun


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