Ironclad USS Cairo

RBJ
1 year ago
Ironclad USS Cairo 0Ironclad USS Cairo 1Ironclad USS Cairo 2Ironclad USS Cairo 3Ironclad USS Cairo 4Ironclad USS Cairo 5Ironclad USS Cairo 6
Yes

Classification

Ship class:
Type:
type: Ironclad

Basic information

Namesake:
City of Cairo, Illinois
Country of build:
Builder:
builder: James Eads & Co.
Commissioned:
Decommissioned:
Status:
Fate:
Sunk by mine, 12 December 1862. Raised, 1964

Ship measurements

Displacement:
512 t
Length:
53 m
Beam:
15.6 m
Draught:
1.8 m

Machine

Propulsion:
  • Steam engine with 22 inches (560 mm) cylinder and stroke of 6 feet (1.8 m), fed by five fire-tube boilers at 140 psi (970 kPa)
  • 22 ft (6.7 m) diameter paddle wheel
Speed:
8 knots

Crew

Complement:
251

Combat assets

Armor:
  • forward casemate: 2.5 inches (64 mm)
  • pilot house: 2.5 inches (64 mm)
  • 60 feet (18 m) of the side covering the machinery: 2.5 inches (64 mm)
  • forward part of casemate sides: 3.5 inches (89 mm) railroad iron
Armament:

January 1862

  • 3 * 8-inch smoothbores
  • 6 * 42-pounder rifles
  • 6 * 32-pounder rifles
  • 1 * 12-pounder rifle

November 1862

  • 3 * 8-inch smoothbores
  • 3 * 42-pounder rifles
  • 6 * 32-pounder rifle
  • 1 * 30-pounder rifle
  • 1 * 12-pounder rifle

USS Cairo was one of the first American ironclad warships built at the beginning of the U.S. Civil War.

Cairo was the lead ship of the City-class gunboats and named for Cairo, Illinois. In June 1862, she captured the Confederate garrison of Fort Pillow on the Mississippi, enabling Union forces to occupy Memphis. As part of the Yazoo Pass Expedition, she was sunk on 12 December 1862, while clearing mines for the attack on Haines Bluff. Cairo was the first ship ever to be sunk by a mine remotely detonated by hand.

The remains of Cairo can be viewed at Vicksburg National Military Park with a museum of its weapons and naval stores.

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