Civil War Gunboats
USS Rattler, a small tinclad gunboat, led an active career on the Mississippi.
Gunboats and sloops were the mainstay of the blockading fleet. They were expected to cope with ships of their own group, while the raiders and privateers preyed on the enemy's merchant marine. Privateers were privately-owned vessels operating with the agreement of their own government, and made their profit from vessels captured and sold in a prize court set up ashore.
Cruisers were mainly used to patrol the ocean highways and hunt down the raiders. In importance they ranked close to the ironclads but were not suited to fight the larger type of ironclad which had superior protection. Cruisers also acted as blockaders along the coasts and deeper rivers.
The following gunboats were selected at random to give the reader some idea of the varity of types used by both the Union and Confederate Navy.
CSS PATRICK HENRY
CSS GOVERNOR MOORE
This Page last updated 01/26/02
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