Help support TMP

"Suggestions for ships for ACW river scenario" Topic

16 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the ACW Scenarios Message Board

Back to the ACW Discussion Message Board

Back to the Ironclads (1862-1889) Message Board

Areas of Interest

American Civil War
19th Century

1,331 hits since 19 Sep 2015
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Blackhorse MP19 Sep 2015 4:36 p.m. PST

I'm going to conduct a battle featuring a Union river squadron escorting troop transports past Confederate fortifications. How successful they are will determine how many re-enforcements the Union player gets in a land campaign that is ongoing.

The rules are home made and I'm going to purchase some Peter Pig 1/600 ships for the game.

I'm a total rookie as regards ACW naval actions and I would appreciate any info on the "typical" type of ships you might find in a Union river squadron. Any info on ship types, classes or even particular names would be appreciated.

I figure I'll get about six warships along with about four transports for the festivities.

Persuasive guy that Good Idea Fairy. I've never had any interest in ACW naval gaming, but then a couple of days ago he came to me and said "you must run the batteries. You must get the troops through!" And he's right, I must. Wadda ya gonna do? Oh well this new wargaming tangent won't be THAT expensive…

Thanks in advance for your input.

Personal logo ACWBill Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2015 5:22 p.m. PST

Timberclads Lexington and Tyler were everywhere on the Mississippi. The city class Ironclads were close behind. Can't go wrong with those.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2015 5:22 p.m. PST

For a Union riverine squadron on the Mississippi, Tennessee, or Cumberland Rivers, you'll need Eads City-class ironclads and tin-clad steamers.

I would suggest a #5 Essex as the flagship, 2-3 #37 Cairo Eads City class ironclads, 1-2 #51 Tyler for your lighter gunboats, and a #52 Switzerland.


P.S. I see that ACWBill and I have the same ideas.

Blackhorse MP19 Sep 2015 5:40 p.m. PST

Thanks guys for the quick response. And Jim for making it "paint by the numbers" simple by adding the actual Peter Pig numbers.

That matches up with what my limited research has turned up. How appropriate or out of place would a Monitor be?

Onomarchos Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2015 5:58 p.m. PST

I thought PP ships were 1/1200 scale.


Blackhorse MP19 Sep 2015 6:02 p.m. PST

Says 1/600 on the PP website. I would hope a typo THAT big wouldn't escape their notice.

Personal logo Dances with Clydesdales Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2015 6:08 p.m. PST

Not too many "monitors" on the Western rivers. Late war you have the Neosho and Osage (turret ironclads), and the Tecumseh(Canonicus class monitor) at Mobile Bay, other than that not so much.

Blackhorse MP19 Sep 2015 6:22 p.m. PST


The Union navy without Monitors? Why that's like the Germans without Tigers or the British without red coats!

I suppose I could live without them though. Thanks.

The G Dog Fezian19 Sep 2015 7:23 p.m. PST

Benton is more appropriate than a monitor. Otherwise, you've got a good representative squadron

Blackhorse MP19 Sep 2015 7:30 p.m. PST

Thanks G. I like the look of the Benton. I think I'll include her.

ChargeSir19 Sep 2015 8:41 p.m. PST

Peter Pig are 1/600, and very nice models as well.

Darkoath21 Sep 2015 9:27 a.m. PST

Any recommendations on a good book of ACW ships on the rivers and what they did?

The G Dog Fezian21 Sep 2015 4:33 p.m. PST

Jack Coombe's Thunder along the Mississippi

Rowena Reed's combined operations in the Civil War

Chester Hearns biography of Admiral David Dixon porter

Spencer Tucker's biography of Andrew Foote

Jim Miles A river unvexed.

If what you want is a book just on the ships of the war then I would recommend Paul Silverstones warships of the Civil War navies or it's updated version Civil War navies 1855 1883

OldBlackWater21 Sep 2015 5:26 p.m. PST

I can recommend

To Retain Command of the Mississippi: The Civil War Naval Campaign for Memphis by Edward McCaul Jr. published by University of Tennessee Press 2014

The book contains both period illustrations and photographs of the vessels of the Union and Confederate River fleets and diagrams and maps of the 2 major "fleet" engagements on the Mississippi: Plum Point and Memphis.

Donald Frazier's books Thunder Across the Swamp and Blood on the Bayou (State House Press) have good information on brownwater actions along the lower Mississippi and bayou country of Louisiana and are also noteworthy for their maps/photos/illustrations.


capncarp22 Sep 2015 6:36 a.m. PST

<Not too many "monitors" on the Western rivers. Late war you have the Neosho and Osage (turret ironclads), and the Tecumseh(Canonicus class monitor) at Mobile Bay, other than that not so much.>
There was also the single-turret Ozark (later war, and none too successful.). Two others, Sandusky and Marietta, were contracted May 1862 but never finished until after the war. A nice what-if scenario, perhaps.
And I think you meant the two twin-turreted Chickasaw and Winnebago Eads river monitors at Mobile Bay (4 total built); Tecumseh and the Manhattan were the third generation single-turreted versions of the East Coast tidal namesake.

Rarely included are the Lafayette and Choctaw casemate sidewheelers, which, after their India-rubber-backed armor was swapped out for straight iron plate, did their bit in the Mississippi flotilla. Cheap knock-offs of the above, Indianola--whose career had a bit of a slapstick tone, Tuscumbia, and Chillicothe, were pretty so-so in their performance.

On the Confederate side, applying the "what-if" magical wand, the Mississippi, might have been completed if skilled workers had been available; the Eastport (uncaptured by Union forces), the Tennesee(I), sister ship to Arkansas destroyed before completion; Yazoo City (unnamed sidewheeler, "Yazoo City" sounds like a good name for her); the Mobile (destroyed to prevent capture), and the Missouri and her unbuilt sister-ship on the Red River. Who knows what might have been accomplished if the South had early on spent some more of her cotton profits and hired some of England's shipbuilding and engineering talent to supervise and train state's shipbuilding efforts? Perhaps Lord Palmerston quietly diverts some funds into covert efforts to upgrade the South's forces following the Trent Affair? Marine engines? Boiler components? Milling machines? On-the-beach RN salts to assist the operation of the ships?

49mountain23 Sep 2015 1:54 p.m. PST

Union sidewheelers. Especially USS Mississippi.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.