USS Choctaw, Civil War Ironclad Ram

Inch High Guy

Choctaw_01The USS Choctaw was built at New Albany, Indiana in 1856, originally as a merchant steamer for trade along the Mississippi River. She was purchased by the U.S. Army in 1862 and converted into an ironclad ram. In 1863 she entered service with the U.S. Navy for action against the Confederacy along the Mississippi and its tributaries. A very fine photograph given the era, note the crew’s laundry drying on the lines forward.

Choctaw_02The Choctaw was large for a river steamer, with a length of 260 feet (79 meters) and displacing 1,004 tons. Propulsion was via a steam engine which drove two side wheels. This gave her an unusual profile and a blistering maximum speed of two knots.

Choctaw_03Choctaw was given iron armor and a ram on her bow. She carried six guns – one 100 pound rifle, two 30 pound rifles, and three nine inch cannon. Some depictions show…

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One thought on “USS Choctaw, Civil War Ironclad Ram

  1. Something about Choctaw’s shape brings to mind a crouching cat doing the pre-pounce buttwiggle.
    And what’s really funny is that a ten pound tabby could outrun the ship.


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