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"CSS Arkansas at Vickburg" Topic

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nnascati Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2019 5:30 p.m. PST

I want to set up the engagement between the Arkansas and the three Union vessels (Carondolet, Queen of the West and Lexington), outside of Vicksburg. I think it would make a good introduction to ACW naval gaming for my son in law. Reading descriptions of the action, I am somewhat confused. Was the Arkansas essentially chasing the three Union ships? What would the initial placement of the vessels look like?

Ranger1275 Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2019 5:55 p.m. PST

It was basically a meeting engagement. The three Union vessels steaming up river encountered the Arkansas heading downstream. A running fight ensued in which Carondelet, ran aground as the Union vessels turned and headed back to their anchored fleet. The Arkansas followed and was able to run past the fleet before an effective pursuit could be made. She was able to reach the relative safety of Vicksburg, her intended destination.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2019 6:02 p.m. PST

Ah, okay. So they did start out facing each other. Any salient features other than the Mississippi?

Ranger1275 Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2019 6:21 p.m. PST

In game terms there would be the possibility for shoals and oxbows to appear or even small islands that might restrict maneuvering. Mines and intentional obstructions would unlikely in Union controlled stretch of river. Currents should aid movement. If things reached the Union anchorage with picket boats, etc….

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2019 6:23 p.m. PST


HMS Exeter Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2019 6:39 p.m. PST

Remember, once Carondelet starts running, she's stern up to Arkansas' guns. There is no armor on the stern, just about 12" of oak. Not that it really matters, her side armor can't withstand Arkansas' rifles at close range.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP08 May 2019 7:13 a.m. PST

But you must remember that the engagement started on the Yazoo River which is (even then) much narrower that the Mississippi River.


nnascati Supporting Member of TMP08 May 2019 8:25 a.m. PST

I'd love to see at least a conjectural map of what the engagement looked like when it started.

HMS Exeter Supporting Member of TMP08 May 2019 9:09 a.m. PST


There's a map about 3/4 the way down. Can't speak to its' correctness.

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