"Do you take me for a Yankee? Don’t you see I wear a gray coat?’ ’Certain you’s a Yankee,’ the woman said. ‘Our folks aint got none them gumboats." (The
Civil War, A Narrative, Fort Sumter to Perryville
, 1958, by Shelby Foote, at page 551)
It was the early morning of July 15, 1862 when a strange looking warship stopped at a plantation landing on the Yazoo River in the Sovereign State of Mississippi. All
the inhabitants had fled at the sound of the approaching ironclad, except one old black lady, who stayed behind, to partake in the exchange above. It was no wonder
that she and the rest of the inhabitants of the area thought that this strange vessel was some new Yankee deviltry and had fled. Since the start of the American Civil
War the riverine warfare on mighty Mississippi had been an almost uninterrupted series of Confederate disasters and fiascoes. However, in this instance they were
wrong, because this warship was the
CSS Arkansas, Confederate Steam Ram. When she stopped that morning, she was into the 4th day of her operational life, which
would last less than three weeks from the moment of the exchange. The operational life of the
CSS Arkansas would be very short but it would be twenty-five days of
glory.

There is a misconception that the ironclad came about during the American Civil War. This is incorrect. Armored floating batteries had made an appearance during the
Crimean War of 1854-1855 and the navy of France had carried the practice to her blue water navy when she built the
Gloire. The Gloire was a wooden ship,
sheathed in iron plates and takes pride of place of being the first true ironclad warship. However, the Royal Navy was not slow in responding and laid down a far
superior warship, the
HMS Warrior. Warrior was built from the keel up as an iron armored warship and was far superior to the Gloire. None of these developments
had been lost upon Stephen Mallory, the Secretary of the Navy, of the new Confederate States of America. Mallory realized that shipbuilding facilities of the
Confederacy could not hope to match the industrial plant of the Union. What was needed was an equalizer and that was to be the ironclad. From the start the
Confederacy invested in ironclads. Probably the most famous was the
CSS Virginia. When Virginia succeeded from the Union, the huge shipyard of Newport News
fell to the South. One ship there was the large steam frigate
Merrimac, which was burned by northern forces because it could not be evacuated. The iron armored
casemate was added to the hull of the wooded frigate.
Virginia was based upon an existing warship and had been converted and built in the largest shipyards in either
north or south. The situation was war different in the west. Here the economy of both north and south was dominated by the Mississippi River. If the "
Father of
Waters
" remained under Confederate control, the whole commerce of the Midwest would be bottled up and forced to rely on the already overburdened rail network.
On the other hand if the Mississippi fell under Union control, the confederacy would be split in two with the Trans-Mississippi States of Texas, Louisiana and
Arkansas separated from the rest. Those states were crucial to the confederate war effort for not only men for the southern armies but also production of meat and
grain that would feed the armies in gray and butternut. For the defense of the Mississippi the confederacy relied upon three weapons systems, land based
fortifications, wooden gunboats and lastly, ironclads.

The war had not progressed too far before it became apparent that land fortifications could not hold up against a determined Union attack. In August 1861 James B.
Eads had persuaded the Union to build ironclads for the north at Eads’ facilities at Mound City, Illinois and outside St. Louis, Missouri. The result was the famous
City
Class
of ironclads. Additionally other ironclads were built by conversion of existing river steamers. In January 1862 a little known Union Brigadier General of
Volunteers sent a terse request to his commanding officer, MG Halleck, based in St. Louis. "
With permission, I will take Fort Henry on the Tennessee, and establish
and hold a large camp there. U.S. Grant Brigadier General.
" Halleck more concerned with successes of other northern generals than with the activities of the
confederates quickly gave his consent. Grant led his attack from the river in the form of four Eads’ ironclads, under the command of Commodore Andrew H. Foote.
Grant and Foote made a formidable combination, as they both strongly believed in joint operations. Grant used the ironclads and wooden gunboats as floating artillery
batteries and steam transports for quick movement of his troops and quickly seized Ft. Henry guarding the Tennessee River. The effectiveness of Eads’ ironclads had
made a strong impression on the confederates that escaped. Next, Grant used the same process to attempt to seize Ft. Donelson, twelve miles away from Ft. Henry,
but guarding the Cumberland River, which led to Nashville. The ironclads were not as effective but the Fort fell to Union anyway. Land fortifications had proven
completely ineffective against the northern ironclads. Well, if ironclads worked for the north, they would be even better for the south and the south had some a-
buildin. After all, if "
a race of pasty-faced mechanics" could build a successful iron warship for river warfare, think of how much better the sons of the south, born to
the hunt, could do. At the southern gateway to the Mississippi, New Orleans, two huge ironclads had been started. The
CSS Louisiana was to mount 16 guns but the
other one, the
CSS Mississippi, was designed to be a true monster of 4,000-tons. With a length of 270-feet, she would mount twenty heavy guns. Surely these two
would secure the Crescent City from Yankee mischief. Hundreds of miles up the Mississippi to the north two more ironclads had been laid down to provide security
for the northern gateway to the Mississippi. In the fall of 1861 Captain John B. Shirley of Memphis, Tennessee, received a construction order to build two ironclads in
his shipyard south of the city. The two ironclads, smaller and more humble than the monsters building in New Orleans, were to be named
CSS Tennessee and CSS
Arkansas
and were to be completed in December 1861. However, chronic lack of necessary supplies slowed construction. Instead of finishing both at the same time,
it was decided to place emphasis on finishing the
Arkansas first.

The confederates needed time to finish their ironclads and they felt that they had plenty of time, since New Orleans and Memphis were both protected by fortifications
on the Mississippi. With Grant’s seizure of Ft. Henry and Donelson, in February 1862 through the assistance of northern ironclads, it should have become clear that
time was running out. Still there was no urgency in the work on the confederate ironclads. Memphis was protected from the Union ironclads by Island No. 10, which
was a fortified island in the Mississippi where the river makes a brief dip into Tennessee before returning to Kentucky. This was at the juncture of Tennessee,
Kentucky and the southeast tip of Missouri. On March 17, 1862 Foote used his seven ironclads to start after this next objective, which was armed with 60 cannons.
Foote was more circumspect in taking on Island No. 10 and for ten days he bombarded it with 13-inch siege mortars mounted on specially designed mortar boats.
Finally the ground commander, BG Pope, grew impatient and had one and then two ironclads,
Carondelet and Pittsburg, run the fort successfully. This cut off river
supply to Island No. 10 and it soon surrendered on April 8th. This knocked down the first barrier in the north and later in April the next blow came to the southern
barrier. The Confederate navy was still working on the
Louisiana and Mississippi at New Orleans. Additionally, there was an experimental ironclad, that the
Confederates had finished in 1861. The
CSS Manassas was a tug on which iron plate had been mounted. It mounted one fixed 32-pound cannon and looked like a
cigar. In October 1861 it had tired unsuccessfully to engage northern blockading forces but was ready for the defense of the city. The confederates in New Orleans
still felt confident that Forts Jackson and St. Phillip, on the Mississippi, 100 miles below the city, would protect them from any northern incursion up the river. Then
in April Confederate authorities heard that Rear Admiral David Farragut was preparing to take his deep water warships up the Mississippi from the Gulf of Mexico to
seize the city. In mid April Farragut ascended the Mississippi and he also had mortar boats accompanying with deep water sloops. On April 18, 1862 the mortars
opened up on the two forts. Although still incomplete
CSS Louisiana was towed down the river to serve as a floating battery at the base of Fort St. Phillip, while CSS
Mississippi
waited to be towed upriver to safety. With the immobile Lousiana came the Manassas and six wooden gunboats. For six days the forts were pounded and
at 0200 April 24 Farragut moved in for the kill. The
Manassas, Louisiana and all of the wooded gunboats were destroyed and the two forts fell. Two days later New
Orleans meekly surrendered. The
Mississippi was burned as she never did receive vessels to tow her to safety upriver.
The fall of Island No. 10 shocked the southerners and in panic, the still unlaunched CSS Tennessee was burned on the stocks in Memphis, but they still had Fort
Pillow, which guarded the Mississippi, 100 miles south of Island No. 10. As a result of the fall of Island No. 10 the
Arkansas was towed down the Mississippi River
to the Yazoo River that empties into the Mississippi just north of Vicksburg. From there
Arkansas was towed far up the Yazoo to Greenwood.  Fort Pillow was the
last substantial position north of Memphis. Within a week of the fall of Island No. 10 Foote moved on Ft. Pillow but became disheartened when he was only left with
two regiments of troops for coordinated action. "
Foote felt let down and depressed. Fort Pillow was a mean looking place, with the balance of the guns from
Columbus dug into its bluff, and he did not think the navy could do the job alone. Downstream there was a Confederate flotilla of unknown strength, perhaps
made stronger than his own by the addition of giant ironclads reportedly under construction in the Memphis yards.
" (The Civil War, A Narrative, Fort Sumter to
Perryville
, 1958, by Shelby Foote, at page 379) Foote delayed and was replaced by Commodore Charles Henry Davis. There was indeed a flotilla of wooden
Confederate rams based in Memphis. It was with the ram flotilla north of Fort Pillow that the Confederate riverine navy enjoyed one of their first notable successes
after a long string of failures. However, Davis did not jump into action himself. He used his mortar boats to fire harassing shells on the fort every half-hour.
Meanwhile he kept his force at Plum Run Bend, five miles above Fort Pillow, with one ironclad three miles downstream for picket duty. A Confederate flotilla of eight
wooden gunboats brought north by J.E. Montgomery right before the fall of New Orleans was at Memphis. With memories of the disaster south of New Orleans
fresh in his mind and fearful that Farragut may soon approach Memphis from the south, Montgomery decided to attack the ironclads north of Fort Pillow. On May
10 the Confederates achieved complete surprise. The picket ship,
USS Cincinnati and the USS Mound City, which was the first ironclad to come to Cincinnati’s
aid were both rammed and sunk in shallow water. The Confederate flotilla withdrew with great celebration and without loss. This was the first time that the Eads’
ironclads had really been opposed on the water and although the
Cincinnati and Mound City would be quickly raised and restored to service, it was a humiliation for
Commodore Davis and the Union river men. On May 25 the Union flotilla received nine of their own wooden steam rams. These had been built by Charles Ellet as a
result of the success of the
CSS Virginia in ramming. Fort Pillow fell on June 4 and Davis with his ironclads and new rams decided to surprise Montgomery’s ram
flotilla at Memphis.

At dawn on June 6 the federals struck. Four of the ironclads were in the lead but behind them were the Ellet rams, which solely relied on speed and mass. The
Confederate flotilla was certainly hopeful of a repetition of Plum Run Bend but once the ironclads had opened fire, the rams were unleashed. At 15-knots, they were
the fastest ships on the Mississippi, and they quickly rushed past the Eads’ ironclads. Using strictly ramming tactics, seven of the eight Confederate gunboats were
sunk with no Union losses. Memphis was lost. Of the five Confederate ironclads built or building in 1861, four were now gone as
Louisiana, Manassas, Mississippi
and now
Tennessee were lost or burned. Only the CSS Arkansas remained far from finished and literally far up the Yazoo. In late May Lieutenant Isaac Newton
Brown, CSN, was given command of the
CSS Arkansas. When Brown arrived at Greenwood, Mississippi, to first view his new command, he was taken aback. "The
vessel was a mere hull, without armor. The engines were apart. Guns without carriages were lying about the deck. A portion of the railroad iron intended as
armor was at the bottom of the river, and the other and far greater part was to be sought for in the interior of the country.
" (The Civil War, A Narrative, Fort
Sumter to Perryville
, 1958, by Shelby Foote, at page 550) Brown had meager resources but he was determined to make a go of it. For the first day after the arrival
of Brown at Greenwood, the sunken railroad iron was hauled out of the Yazoo. Then he ordered his new command towed 180 miles down the Yazoo to the town of
Yazoo City. The facilities at Yazoo City were better than at Greenwood but not by much, as sparse would be an over generous word in their description. Once there
Brown went to work with a purpose. He was driven to have the Arkansas completed. Fourteen forges were acquired from local plantations and once fired up they
were kept going 24 hours a day. Scrap iron and railroad track was brought in from all locations and blacksmiths kept hammering it into usable fittings for the
emerging ironclad. Two Hundred carpenters were added to the mix for shaping the 50-foot logs into backing for the armor, each with a cross section of 18 to 24
inches in width and height. Central Mississippi had no naval tradition for building naval gun carriages, so Brown had to look around for somebody that would try to
construct a serviceable carriage. The solution was found in "
two gentlemen of Jackson", who produced them in a wagon factory in Canton. Paint was another
problem, It was decided to paint the
CSS Arkansas in a chocolate brown so that she would blend in with the muddy Mississippi. However, it quickly became
apparent that Confederate paint just lacked the quality to do the job. Layer after layer, coat after coat of the brown paint was applied and every time the
Arkansas
reverted to her unpainted color, a rich rusty red. From then on rust red was the color in which she served. If the amount of energy expended by Brown, his crew and
the local citizenry of Yazoo City had been found in Memphis and New Orleans in 1861, the Confederacy would have completed all of their Mississippi ironclads.
"
Within five weeks, according to one of her lieutenants, ‘we had a man-of-war (such as she was) from almost nothing." (The Civil War, A Narrative, Fort
Sumter to Perryville
, 1958, by Shelby Foote, at page 550)

After their reverse at Plum Run Bend, the Union navy was wildly successful in every venture. New Orleans and Memphis were captured and as far as the Union
commanders were aware every Confederate warship, except one wooden ram, had been destroyed. After capturing New Orleans, Farragut soon captured Baton
Rouge. That just left one point on the Mississippi that could bar complete Union navigation of the river and conversely would allow Confederate access to the Trans-
Mississippi, Vicksburg. Fortunately for the south, Farragut and Davis took their time before continuing on their respective north and south pincers. After making a
400-mile trip upriver, Farragut arrived south of Vicksburg in early June. He spent ten days, sighting his mortar vessels and then on the night of June 27, under
covering fire from the mortars, he took eleven of his ships north past Vicksburg. Two days later the ironclads, steam rams and mortar boats under Davis, which had
steamed south from Memphis, linked up with Farragut’s deep ocean ships between Vicksburg to the south and the mouth of the Yazoo to the north. Davis had sent
two Ellet rams ahead early to investigate reports of some Confederate gunboats were hiding up that river. Indeed on June 26, the Union rams had discovered the last
surviving member of Montgomery’s Memphis squadron and two other gunboats lurking a little way up the Yazoo. All three were burned by the Confederates when
the Union rams appeared. "
…all three were set afire as soon as the rams hove into view, and Ellet came back out again to report that he had destroyed the fag end
of Confederate resistance on the western rivers.
" (The Civil War, A Narrative, Fort Sumter to Perryville, 1958, by Shelby Foote, at page 548) With the force to the
north and part of Farragut’s force still to the south of Vicksburg, the Confederate connections across the Mississippi were tenuous at best at the point of Vicksburg
itself. Federal troops were on the west bank in an attempt to cut a canal by-pass to the city. Farragut and the Union fleet were bored. He had proven that he could sail
past fortifications when he wished. To him it certainly seemed clear that the Confederate naval presence on the Mississippi had been successfully eradicated. Indeed
his only concern was that his deep draft sloops may be stranded up river as the water levels fell in the summer. Davis on the other hand was still uneasy. Undoubtedly
the losses his forces had sustained at Plum Run Bend when he first took command of the Eads’ ironclads made him very wary of another surprise attack. There were
rumors, whispers, wisps, fragments of conversations that mentioned a Confederate ironclad that was under construction somewhere on the Yazoo. Davis felt very
uneasy about this spectral presence. Farragut completely discounted all such rumors. Even if one was hiding up there, it certainly would never show in face of the
overwhelming Union strength gathered at Vicksburg. "
I do not think she will ever come forth," he reported. However, Davis would rather have been safe than sorry
and dispatched three ships to go up the Yazoo to find the truth. Early on July 15, 1862 ironclad
USS Carondelet, wooden gunboat USS Tyler and Ellet steam ram,
USS Queen of the West, made the turn to starboard and started up the sleepy Yazoo River.
On July 12, 1862 the CSS Arkansas was as ready as could be hoped. Armed with ten guns of various types, mounted on the jury-rigged carriages from the Canton
wagon factory, she had a crew of 175. Two-thirds of these came from the three steamers burned on the lower Yazoo in June with the remainder made of infantry
volunteers, who were worked into the gun crews. "
Brown sent the mechanics ashore and dropped down to Sartartia Bar, where, as he later said, ‘I now gave the
executive officer a day to organize and exercise his men.
" (The Civil War, A Narrative, Fort Sumter to Perryville, 1958, by Shelby Foote, at page 550) So July 13
was spent training the scratch crew of the ironclad. They unanchored on the 14th and continued down the Yazoo. Fifteen miles later at the mouth of the Sunflower
River it was discovered that the powder of the forward magazine was damp from steam from the engines and boilers. The Arkansas tied up at a clearing and the wet
powder was set on a canvas to dry. It was dry enough for use by the time the sun set.
Arkansas set off again. Around midnight, she pulled over to the bank at Haine’
s Bluff for a crew rest but it was a short one. By 0300 she had shoved off and continued her journey. However, it was then that the Achilles’ heel of
Arkansas acted
up. Her twin engines, removed from the steamer
Natchez, were not reliable. "The twin-screw vessel’s engines had a habit of stopping on dead center, one at a time,
which would throw her abruptly into bank, despite the rudder, and this was what happened now in the predawn darkness.
" (The Civil War, A Narrative, Fort
Sumter to Perryville
, 1958, by Shelby Foote, at page 551) While the engine was being repaired, a lieutenant went ashore to seek information and only found the lady,
who replied to his questions in the manner shown at the start of this article. It took less than an hour but the two delays of the day had prevented
Arkansas from
reaching the Mississippi during darkness. As the sun rose on the 15th the rust-red ironclad had just entered Old River, a ten-mile long cutoff former channel of the
meandering Mississippi and now part of the Yazoo. As the
Arkansas entered Old River from the northeast, Carondelet, Tyler and Queen of the West entered from
the southwest, each side steaming towards the other on a collision course but hidden from each other by a series of river bends.

Brown knew that the combined forces of Farragut and Davis were between the Arkansas and Vicksburg, so the ironclads crew were already ready for action. The
Confederate crew saw smoke over the tree line and knew that action was imminent. "
In a few moments we see three gunboats round a point in full view, steaming
towards us gallantly and saucily, with colors streaming in the wind. The ironclad Carondelet of twelve guns, commanded by Lieutenant Walke was on the right.
The A.O. Tyler, the vessel which annoyed our troops at Shiloh, commanded by Lieutenant Gwin, my classmate, was in the center, and the unlucky river ram,
Queen of the West, commanded by an army ‘mustang’ named Hunter, was on the left. It was quite probable that they imagined we would take to our heels
when we saw the odds, which were against us. They were mistaken.
" Lieutenant George Gift, CSS Arkansas. The Union force was still uncertain of what they had
encountered and they continued to close and opened fire at the odd red ship approaching them. However,
Arkansas held her fire. It had previously been decided not
to fire until the
Arkansas was close enough to the target to assure a hit without elevating the guns. Lieutenant Gift continues his narrative. "The gunnery of the
enemy was excellent, and his rifle boats soon began to ring on our iron front, digging into and warping up the bars, but not penetrating. Twice he struck near
my port, and still we could not ‘see’ him. The first blood was drawn from my division. An Irishman with more curiosity than prudence, stuck his head out the
broadside port, and was killed by a heavy rifle bolt, which missed the ship.
" When another member of the same gun crew was told to throw the headless body over
the side, he replied, "
Oh! I can’t do it sir, its my brother." The Arkansas made for the Tyler. One of the two guns commanded by Lieutenant Gift, the port bow-
chaser, an eight-inch Columbiad, opened fire first from
Arkansas. "It struck him fair and square, killing a pilot in its flight and bursting in the engine room. She
reported seventeen killed and fourteen wounded, and I think this shell did the better part of the day’s work on her.
" Gift’s bow-chaser recoiled off its carriage and
was out of action for ten minutes.

Next it appeared that the
Queen of the West under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Hunter was going to attempt to ram the Arkansas. Brown had the starboard
battery open fire on
Queen of the West and Hunter had enough. "This settled the account on that side. The Lieutenant Colonel had business down the river, and
straightway went to attend to it; that is to say, to quote Gwin (commander of Tyler), he ‘fled ingloriously.’ This left us with the Tyler, now getting pretty sick,
and the Carondelet to deal with.
" However, the fight was not one sided as Arkansas began to sustain damage from the combined fire from Tyler and Carondelet.
One rifle bolt penetrated the pilot house and killed one Mississippi River pilot and injured the Yazoo River pilot. Fortunately
Arkansas had a second Mississippi River
pilot, James Brady, who took over navigation, even though he did not know the tricks of the Yazoo. "
The fight had been an advance on our part; we had never
slowed the engines, but stood forward as though we held such small fry in contempt. Gwin handled and fought the Tyler with skill as long as there was any
hope; but he finally took to his heel, badly crippled, and went after the ’mustang.
" With Tyler steaming fast on the heels of the speedily retreating Queen of the
West
, that just left the Eads’ City Class ironclad Carondelet. After a ten-minute delay in remounting his 8-inch Columbiad, Lieutenant Gift looked out for the position
of the
Carondelet, so that his forward gun could engage her. "…the Carondelet was right ahead of us, distant about one hundred yards, and paddling down
stream for dear life. Her armor had been pierced four times by Grimball (Lieutenant commanding starboard bow-chaser and first starboard broadside gun) and
we were running after her to use our ram, having the advantage of speed. Opposite to me a man was standing outside on the port – still loading the stern chaser.
He was so near that I could have readily recognized him had he been an acquaintance. I pointed the Columbiad for that port and pulled the lock string. I have
seen nothing of that man or gun since.
" The Carondelet was almost defenseless while being chased from the stern, as her thinnest armor was there. "If his stern
guns were not dismounted the crews had deserted them, for they were not used after my gun came into action the second time.
" Just as the Arkansas was about
to ram the stern of the
Carondelet, Brady discovered that the Arkansas was in shallow water. The Carondelet drew four feet less water and could go where
Arkansas could not. Arkansas sheered off and depressed the muzzles of her port side battery, so that as they came right alongside the Carondelet, they could fire
down through the casemate armor of
Carondelet and through her bottom. "As we lapped up alongside, and almost touching, we poured in our broadside, which
went crashing and plunging through his timbers and bottom. Although his four broadside guns – one more than we had – were run out and ready, he did not
fire them.
" The Carondelet had almost made it to the Mississippi but with this last broadside, she veered into the bank, "leaking steam and frantic survivors from all
her ports.
" Queen of the West and then the Tyler had already made the turn to port into the Mississippi and were rushing to rejoin their gaggle of friends down river.
Arkansas could not stay to continue fire on Carondelet, as she had to be upon the main federal fleet before they were fully prepared for her arrival. Lieutenant Brown
had placed himself on the upper deck of his command during the battle and had shouted orders to the pilots through the open top of the conning tower to the pilots
steering the ship. Even as
Arkansas took damage during the battle, so did Brown. One Union cannon round hit the forward face of Arkansas and caromed upwards
where it whisked past Brown’s head, giving him a slight concussion from its passage. Aboard the
Tyler their were Union infantrymen, who couldn’t hurt the ironclad
with their rifle fire. However, there was one target that they could see and that was Lieutenant Brown, who was the only member of the crew outside of the
protective armor of the ship. One minnie ball grazed Brown’s temple and he collapsed and had to be carried below. On the ships of the Union fleet above Vicksburg,
the cannon fire of the engagement had been heard but it was assumed that the northern ships were just having target practice with snipers in the woods. Presently, as
sailors looked up river, the
Queen of the West and the Tyler were seen steaming as fast as they could towards the combined fleet and yet there was something else.
"
Now they saw better, though they still did not understand what they saw. Observing the gunboat returning with a strange red vessel close on her heels, one
officer remarked: ‘There comes the Tyler with a prize.
" (The Civil War, A Narrative, Fort Sumter to Perryville, 1958, by Shelby Foote, at page 552) Instead of a
prize, Farragut and the fleet received a surprise in the form of the Confederate steam ram
CSS Arkansas. The Arkansas was about to enter her second fight of the
day but instead of facing just three to one odds as faced in the first tussle, this time she was taking on the combined strength of the ironclads and rams of Davis and
the big deep ocean warships of Farragut. "
Within range of the fleet – ‘a forest of masts and smokestacks,’ Brown called it; ‘In every direction, except astern, our
eyes rested on enemies’ noting that the army rams were anchored behind the bigger ships, in position to dart out through the intervals, the Confederate skipper
told his pilot: ‘Brady, shave that line of men-of-war as close as you can, so that the rams will not have room to gather headway in coming out to strike us.
" (The
Civil War, A Narrative, Fort Sumter to Perryville
, 1958, by Shelby Foote, at page 552-553) The combined Union squadrons were completely surprised and did not
have steam up or guns loaded. However, as
Arkansas proceeded to leisurely cruise through the massed formation of the federal ironclads, steam sloops, steam rams
and mortar boats, the hundreds of Union cannons came alive with each trying to mark down the impudent intruder. "
I had the most lively realization of having
steamed into a real volcano.’ Guns were flashing, and as he advanced ‘the line of fire seemed to grow into a circle constantly closing.’ Even so, he saw one
definite advantage to fighting solo from an interior position, and the Arkansas was not neglectful of it, ‘firing rapidly to every point of the circumference,
without the fear of hitting a friend or missing an enemy.
" (The Civil War, A Narrative, Fort Sumter to Perryville, 1958, by Shelby Foote, at page 553) The
Arkansas replied by firing her ten cannons as quickly as possible but Arkansas was being punished for her boldness.

Shells and shot came in from all directions. One 11-inch Dahlegren round punched through the casemate and took out all sixteen men of one gun. "
We were passing
one of the large sloops of war when a heavy shot struck the side abreast of my bow gun, the concussion knocking over a man who was engaged in taking a shot
from the rack. He rubbed his hip, which had been hurt, and said they would ‘hardly strike twice in a place.’ He was mistaken, poor fellow, for immediately a
shell entered the breech made by the shot, and bedding itself in the cotton bail lining on the inside of the bulwark proper, exploded with terrible effect. I found
myself standing in a dense, suffocating smoke, with my cap gone and hair and beard singed. The smoke soon cleared away, and I found but one man left.
Sixteen were killed and wounded by that shell, and the ship set on fire.
" A solid rifle bolt came through and took out another nine men working another gun. "The
ill luck, which befell the crew of the bow gun, was soon to be followed by a similar misfortune to the crew of my broadside gun. An eleven inch shot broke
through immediately above the port, bringing with it a shower of iron and wood splinters, which struck down every man at my gun; it passed across the deck,
through the smokestack, and killed eight and wounded seven men at Scales’ gun.
" The stack was totally perforated from shrapnel and therefore the engines did not
have the forced draft effect and dropped in pressure from 120psi to 20 psi.
Arkansas barely had enough power to allow her to maintain steerage. Accordingly, the use
of her ram was removed from her arsenal of weapons. Brown, who had revived before entering the maelstrom of fire, decided not to ram unless some ship blocked
his way south. With no draft from the funnel, temperatures in the engine room soared to 130 degrees and engine crews had to work in 15 minute shifts. Her boats
were shot away, one third of her crew was dead or wounded, and one complete section of her armor had been taken away, but the
Arkansas continued south and
continued to fire with all guns that were still crewed.

Just as
Arkansas was about to break clear, one of the Ellet steam rams appeared with the apparent attention of ramming the ironclad. "Go through him Brady!’
Brown shouted. But one of the bow guns averted the need for a collision by putting a shell through the Federal’s boiler. Steam went up like a geyser and the
bluejacket crew went overboard.
" (The Civil War, A Narrative, Fort Sumter to Perryville, 1958, by Shelby Foote, at page 553) "The rams were taking up a position
to come out and strike us as we passed. One of them, the Lancaster, was slowly moving across our path, and I heard Brady ask Captain Brown if he should cut
that boat in two. The Captain returned an affirmative answer, and the game pilot steadied our ship for the ram. I had in a five second shell, which I wished to
get rid of before we got to the ironclads, and so I set it in motion. It struck his mud drum, emptying the hot steam and water into the small barricaded engine
room, where the crew and a company of sharp shooters were seeking protection about a hundred of which were killed. The poor fellows came pouring up the
scuttles, tearing off their shirts and leaping overboard as soon as they reached the air.
" Arkansas broke free, past the last Union vessel. She was greatly damaged
but every Union vessel had also received damage.
Arkansas had hit plenty of targets. However, most of the damage to federal vessels had come from their own guns.
As
Arkansas steamed right through the middle of the federal force, if a Union round missed the Confederate ironclad, it was sure to strike a Union vessel on the other
side of the formation. Not only was the Federal Fleet completely taken by surprise, Admiral Farragut the fleet commander, displayed his own surprise in a most
conspicuous manner. Farragut had been sleeping late that morning and when the
Arkansas had opened up, he had rushed to the deck of the Hartford, still in his
pajamas. What he saw shocked, amazed, humiliated and infuriated him. He had dismissed the idea of the existence of a southern ironclad as idle rumor, a mere
figment of imagination. Now here in front of him, the rumor was all too true. His complacency was shattered with his pride, as the lone Confederate ship seemed to
show no concern of the numbers that she faced. The
Arkansas seemed to saunter through the assembled massed ranks of Union warships, as if strolling through a
park on a sunny day. The sheer bravado and effrontery galled him. As the
Arkansas leisurely departed the scene bound for the protection of the batteries at
Vicksburg, Farragut left the deck, still in his pajamas, saying, "
Damnable neglect, or worse, somewhere!" His fury and embarrassment had boiled over.
Farragut was not in his cabin for long. He came back on deck in full uniform and boiling mad. He ordered the fleet to immediately raise anchors to steam down to
Vicksburg to destroy the
Arkansas, and the massed gun batteries of the bluff of Vicksburg be damned. His captains on the other hand did not think that it was such
a good idea to present themselves as targets in broad daylight. The staff of Farragut talked the Admiral out of an immediate attack in daylight. "
His staff managed to
dissuade him from this – at least give the fleet captains time to wash the blood from their scuppers, they said – but, even so, the old man would not be put off
any longer than nightfall: Porter’s mortar schooners, together with the Brooklyn and the two laggard gunboats, were still below the city, where the apparently
unsinkable rebel ironclad might engage them any minute. He ordered all guns loaded with solid and suspended his heaviest anchor from the tip of the
Hartford’s port mainyardarm, intending to drop it through the Arkansas’ deck and bottom when he got alongside her. The Davis gunboats and the Porter
mortars would give covering fire, above and below, while he went in and dragged the upstart monster from its lair.
" (The Civil War, A Narrative, Fort Sumter
to Perryville
, 1958, by Shelby Foote, at page 554)  As sunset came to the Mississippi, the Federal ships got underway for their third engagement with the Arkansas
that day. The sun was down but it was still twilight. The federal ships were silhouetted in the glow to the west.
Arkansas on the other hand, with her rust red color,
blended in perfectly with the red clay bluffs of Vicksburg. Not only did she blend in perfectly with her surroundings, but also she was further obscured by the
gloom and murk of night descending from the east. Brown could not have picked a better camouflage. Every aspect of terrain and weather worked in favor of the
Arkansas. "The first each skipper saw of her as the ships came past in single file, taking in turn a pounding from the batteries overhead, was the flash of her
guns as he crossed her line of fire. By then it was too late to attempt to check up and grapple; all there was time for was one quick broadside in reply, before the
current swept him out of range. Aboard the Arkansas, dismay at having to fight the day’s third battle, tied to bank and with less than half her crew still
functional, gave way to elation as the action progressed. One by one, the ships glided past with their towering spars in silhouette against the glow of the western
cloudbank, and one by one they took them under fire, as if in a gigantic shooting gallery.
"(The Civil War, A Narrative, Fort Sumter to Perryville, 1958, by
Shelby Foote, at page 554) Then
Hartford, with the vengeful Farragut, came on. The pilot and gunners could not see Arkansas until the ironclad loosed a broadside
and she was not in position to drop her anchor on the Confederate. However,
Hartford did fire her own broadside. "But when the Hartford stood in close, groping
blindly with the anchor swaying pendulous from her yardarm, and they loosed a broadside at her, she thundered back with a tremendous salvo. An 11-inch
solid pierced the side of the Arkansas just above the waterline, crashed through the engine room, killing and mangling as it went, and lodged in the opposite
casemate armor, making what one of her officers called ‘a bulging protuberance outside.’ She kept firing until the river stopped sending her targets. Then once
more there was silence.
" (The Civil War, A Narrative, Fort Sumter to Perryville, 1958, by Shelby Foote, at page 554)

Although Farragut was happy to be to the south of Vicksburg, he was still determined to wipe away the humiliation of the 15th. The next morning he contacted
Davis, who still had his ironclads north of Vicksburg and proposed that they both go in at high noon and sink the
Arkansas. Davis wouldn’t have any part of it. In
recalling his actions regarding the Confederate Memphis squadron, he replied, "
I have watched eight rams for a month, and now find it no hard task to watch
one.
" In the days that followed Arkansas made some temporary repairs but clearly it wasn’t enough. She made a sortie but had to turn back when her balky engines
failed her again. After five days Davis finally gave in to Farragut in making another assault on Arkansas. This time Davis would send one of his ironclads, the
Essex,
to pin
Arkansas against the bank. The accompanying steam ram Queen of the West would then ram and sink the immobile ironclad. The attack came on July 21 but
Brown had prepared his command to counter many types of attacks, including the type that was employed by
Essex. Brown had moored the Arkansas with the bow
facing upstream, as that was where the greatest threat of ramming came from. All of the Union steam rams were up river and had the additional advantage of using
the current to increase speed. The
Arkansas was moored with cables that could be let out to pivot the ram bow towards any attacker. As Essex approached,
Arkansas presented her ram to her assailant. Essex swerved away and received a broadside from Arkansas. "The Queen, followed close behind, anxious to redeem
her performance up the Yazoo the week before, could manage no more than a glancing blow. She worked her way back upstream, rejoining Davis, but the
Essex went with the current, her engines badly shot up in the melee, and joined the fleet below.
" (The Civil War, A Narrative, Fort Sumter to Perryville, 1958,
by Shelby Foote, at page 555) When Gideon Welles, the Federal Secretary of the Navy, heard of the action, he was shocked that one Confederate ship could pull off
such a feat. He considered the actions of the
Arkansas to be a stain on the honor of his Navy. "It is an absolute necessity that the neglect or apparent neglect of
the squadron should be wiped out by the destruction of the Arkansas,
" (The Civil War, A Narrative, Fort Sumter to Perryville, 1958, by Shelby Foote, at page
555) However, his wire to Farragut came too late. Before
Arkansas ever appeared, Farragut had asked for permission to move south of Vicksburg. Farragut really
saw a danger of the dropping river level stranding his ships. Before Welles’ message above reached him, a message from Welles answering the first, pre-
Arkansas,
message arrived. "
Go down the river at discretion." That is all Farragut needed to be done with the Mississippi, Vicksburg and the Confederate Steam Ram CSS
Arkansas
. On the morning of the 26th he raised anchor and steamed south, taking his entire squadron with him. The crippled Essex and two wooden gunboats, as
well as the federal soldiers who had been on the west bank, were dropped off at Baton Rouge but the
Hartford and the rest of the big ships kept going, past New
Orleans, until they were back in the Gulf of Mexico. Also on the 26th Davis had his ironclad and ram flotilla raise anchor and steam northward to operate 200 miles
upstream.
Arkansas had beaten them all and opened a huge area for communications, troops and provisions with the Trans-Mississippi states. The exploits of the
Arkansas in this short period had dramatically changed the strategic picture in the west. On the eve of July 14, 1862, the Confederacy really didn’t have any
connection with her states beyond the Mississippi River. After the actions of
Arkansas, and the Union failures to sink her, the wills of the federal commanders
appear to have been shattered. Less than two weeks later, Davis took his ironclads northward and Farragut took his steam sloops southward, past New Orleans to
their natural element of the Gulf of Mexico. A huge stretch of Mississippi River bank had been opened up for Confederate traffic. It was a colossal success.
However, what the skill and courage of the crew of the
CSS Arkansas had won, would be tossed away by the idiocy of another. In any military organization, there
is always someone who is more than capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. In that summer of 1862 in Vicksburg, the individual capable of such a
feat was the overall commander, General Earl van Dorn.

Van Dorn certainly had experience in parlaying victory into defeat. In March he had commanded a small army that engaged a Union force under Sam Curtis at the
Battle of Pea Ridge in northwest Arkansas. Van Dorn had greater initiative but shot his bolt right away. When the Union troops didn’t route, he was in trouble. "
But
Van Dorn was somewhat in the predicament of having prodded a shot bear, thinking it dead, only to have the creature rear up and come charging at him,
snarling. Consequently, his main and in fact his exclusive concern, in the face of this sudden show of teeth and claws, was how to get away unmangled.
Horrendous as it was, however, the problem was not with him long. His soldiers solved it for him. Emerging from the north end of the defile, they scattered in
every direction except due south, where the prodded bear still roared.
" (The Civil War, A Narrative, Fort Sumter to Perryville, 1958, by Shelby Foote, at page
291) It is ironic that his army had disintegrated on the same day that the ironclad
CSS Virginia had sunk the Congress and Cumberland. The naval victory had
diminished the shame of the loss at Pea Ridge and he was rewarded with another command at Vicksburg, where he was promptly bottled up by Farragut and Davis.
Now another ironclad, the
Arkansas, had pulled Van Dorn’s fat from the fire. The general was hardly the type to let prosperity or strategy interfere with his ill-
considered, hare brained plans. Even before the Union flotillas had departed, Van Dorn was sending bombastic boasts to Richmond. "
Glorious for the navy, and
glorious for her heroic commander, officers, and men. Smokestack riddled; otherwise not materially damaged. Soon be repaired and then, Ho! For New
Orleans.
" No material damage? Clearly Van Dorn had no concept of reality when it came to the Arkansas. Her armor was cracked, her engines damaged, her crew
scythed down and further Van Dorn increased this deficiency by removing the surviving volunteer infantrymen who had served on gun crews. The modern military
uses the term "
Situational Awareness" to describe a commander’s knowledge of all facts pertaining to the battlefield. The facts deal with the friendly situation,
enemy situation, weather, terrain and any other aspect that influences the battlefield. At the end of July 1862 General Earl Van Dorn CSA, lacked situational
awareness on many levels. First, he was completely in the dark as to the status of
Arkansas but to compound this error, he had no idea of the federal dispositions.
On July 27 Van Dorn dispatched his subordinate, General Breckinridge with 4,000 men to take Baton Rouge. He did this without any knowledge of Union strength
there.
However, at first after the federal flotillas had disappeared, everything was fine. A cable arrived from Richmond, promoting Brown to Commander. However, Isaac
Brown was ill and still had not recovered from his concussion suffered on the 15th. Brown took off four days to go up to Grenada, Mississippi, for rest and
recuperation, leaving his executive officer, Lieutenant Henry Stevens, in charge. Following orders Breckinridge and his 4,000 got aboard railroad cars for the trip to
the south, as
Arkansas went about repairing her damages at the foot of the bluff. When Brown arrived at Grenada, he was immediately bedridden with another
ailment. On July 31st Breckinridge stopped his advance towards Baton Rouge when he discovered that it was defended by 5,000 Union troops, plus the ironclad
Essex and the two wooden gunboats dropped off by Farragut. Breckinridge further wired Van Dorn that there was no way that he could take Baton Rouge without
support from the
Arkansas. Without a thought Van Dorn ordered Stevens to have the Arkansas at Baton Rouge on August 5, for a coordinated assault with
Breckinridge. The stupidity of Van Dorn was truly monumental. The
Arkansas was the only Confederate ironclad on the Mississippi. No more could be built without
Memphis or New Orleans. Her exploits had repulsed two Union naval forces and she had seen both pack up and steam away from her. She was the one strategic
asset that could keep communications and supplies flowing across the river to the east. Now, because he had sent Breckinridge off without any knowledge of enemy
strength or dispositions, he parlayed this half-baked plan with the colossally ignorant order for the
Arkansas to again pull his fat from the fire in total disregard to her
material condition, personnel condition and with her commander absent. Brown was sick as a dog in Grenada. "
For another, while he was in this condition
supposedly unable to lift his head off the pillow, he received a wire from his first lieutenant, informing him that the Arkansas was under orders to proceed at
once to Baton Rouge, despite the fact that her engines were under major repair and much of her rusty plating had still not been refastened to her battered sides.
"
(
The Civil War, A Narrative, Fort Sumter to Perryville, 1958, by Shelby Foote, at page 578) Brown immediately responded with a cable telling Stevens to remain at
Vicksburg until Brown arrived. Brown drug himself off his sickbed and boarded the first train south to Jackson. When he boarded he collapsed on some mail bags,
too sick to change his position during the jolting 130-mile trip to the capital of Mississippi. When he arrive at Jackson he got a special train to take him west to
Vicksburg. However, when Brown arrived at the city that he had defended so valiantly, the
CSS Arkansas was already gone.

In the evening of August 3,
Arkansas had cast off from the red bluffs of Vicksburg. To meet the arbitrary rendezvous that had been established by Van Dorn, the
ironclad had 30 hours to steam 300 miles. To do this she had to steam full speed on her damaged and hastily reassembled engines. The harder she steamed, the more
frequently she broke down and this vicious cycle kept occurring with greater frequency during her entire voyage south. At daybreak on the 5th
Arkansas had
miraculously made it to the final bend above Baton Rouge. The crew heard gunfire and artillery of the start of Breckinridge’s attack. "
The Arkansas herself appeared
to sense this; or, as one of her officers put it, ‘Like a war horse she seemed to scent the battle from afar, and in point of speed outdid anything we had ever
before witnessed.’ Then just before rounding the bend, they heard a familiar sound: the crack and jar of naval guns mixed in with the bark of field artillery.
The ironclad Essex and the two Farragut gunboats were adding the weight of their metal to the attempt to fling back the Confederate attackers. Urged on by the
knowledge ‘that our iron sides should be receiving those missiles which now were mowing down our ranks of infantry,’ Stevens decided to make an immediate
ram attack on the Essex, sinking her where she lay, then steam below the city to cut off the retreat of the two wooden gunboats, reducing them to kindling at his
leisure.
" (The Civil War, A Narrative, Fort Sumter to Perryville, 1958, by Shelby Foote, at page 579). Almost immediately the starboard engine of the Arkansas
seized up and she immediately grounded into the west bank. There they sat, stuck while they could see the battle unfolding before them but at a range too great to
engage. "
There lay the enemy in full view and we as helpless as a sheer-hulk." Without the presence of the Arkansas to deal with the Union gunboats, their artillery
halted the Confederate land attack. Breckinridge halted his attack to wait for the
Arkansas but in early afternoon, when he learned that the ironclad was aground four
miles up-river, he called off the attack and retreated. By evening
Arkansas was again operational. Her starboard engine was again functioning and she was free of the
west bank. She resumed her voyage downstream but had only gone a hundred yards when the crankpin in the rocking shaft of the starboard engine broke. Again the
forges came out and smiths and mechanics worked through the night. At dawn on the 6th
Essex was seen approaching from the south, making only two-knots
against the current. However, the repairs were successful and once again
Arkansas prepared to engage Essex. Stevens planned to go up-river at little ways and then
turn to make a ram attack on
Essex. The ironclad was just in the process of going upstream when the port engine suddenly stopped, throwing Arkansas back into the
west bank.
Essex slowly advanced and opened fire. Arkansas was hard aground and was only able to reply with one gun. "The situation spoke for itself, Stevens
ordered the crew ashore and fired the vessel, tears streaming down his face as he did so. When the flames reached the gundeck, the loaded guns began to
explode: so that the Arkansas not only kept the Essex at a respectful distance during her death throes, but administered her own coup de grace and fired her own
salute as she went down. Thus she made a fitting end to her twenty-three day career.
" (The Civil War, A Narrative, Fort Sumter to Perryville, 1958, by Shelby
Foote, at page 580-581)

As for Isaac Brown, when he reached Vicksburg and found his command gone, he had continued the pursuit. First by train and then by horse, he made his way
towards Baton Rouge, hoping to be able to board the
Arkansas. When he finally arrived, the Arkansas was gone. All that he saw were the federal gunboats steaming
back and forth over the spot where she had sunk. He sadly turned around and made the trip back to Vicksburg. For the man who had overseen and managed the
huge increase in the size and power of the United States Navy, and who had taken his beloved navy from a fourth rank power to a world power in a few short years,
the exploits of the
CSS Arkansas, remained his chief embarrassment. Gideon Welles remained very bitter that both federal naval forces had left the scene after failing
to destroy
Arkansas. To him it seemed like they ran from the ship. After the war Welles wrote, "The most disreputable naval affair of the war was the descent of
the steam ram Arkansas through both squadrons until she hauled into the batteries of Vicksburg, and there the two Flag Officers abandoned the place and the
ironclad ram, Farragut and his force going on to New Orleans, and Davis proceeding with his flotilla up the river.
" (The Civil War, A Narrative, Fort Sumter to
Perryville
, 1958, by Shelby Foote, at page 556) Although the Arkansas would have eventually succumbed to Union force, the United States was fortunate indeed that
Earl Van Dorn had a hand in her destiny.
Flagship Models 1:192 Scale CSS Arkansas Hull - The Flagship Models Arkansas has a nice size hull. As befits a 1:192 scale model. The nicest feature on the
hull sides is the appearance of the armor on the sides, front and aft faces of the casemte. The detailing of the armor has the appearance of the wide flange of
railroad rails, since that was what was used for the armor. A close second are the broadside cannon shutters. They appear slightly too thick but the Confederate
home brewed designs weren’t known for their delicacy. The gun shutters have band and rivet detail. Other hull side features include the iron ram at the bow with
panel and rivet detail and the prominent anchor hawse fittings. This is a full hull kit and the lower hull does not have wood plank detail. Other than the ram, the only
other features of the lower hull are two propeller shaft skegs. The decks have wooden plank detail but without butt ends. On the top of the casemate, integral to the
hull casting is the armored pilot house. Other features on top of the casemate are fittings above each of the broadside cannon shutters that were used to open the
top shutter for each gun. Also on the casemate deck are three coamings for the brass photo-etch engine room ventilation grates. The short forecastle and
quarterdeck are similar in fittings and detail with wooden plank deck, ventilation grate coamings and capstans. The hull casting will require clean up and filling voids
with putty. There is a resin casting strip along the keel that will need to be removed. This continues up to the top of the cutwater so this strip on the bow will also
need to be removed. The bottom of the hull and shaft skegs have small to medium casting voids that will need to be filled and sanded. There is a small amount of
resin over-splash on the forecastle but use a Xacto knife on this so you don’t mar the wooden plank detail. More over-splash is found on the bottom of the hull but
light sanding can be used there. All of the cleaning won’t take that long to accomplish.

Smaller Resin Parts - There are 26 smaller resin parts cast singly on blocks, on a sheet or on runners. The largest is the funnel, which is cast on a runner
containing eleven parts. The funnel has nice detail with seams for the panel bands, reinforcing bands, rivets, bottom apron and top cap. Also included on this runner
are the rudder with wooden board and steel plate detail, two boat davits with detailed base and rope tie-up fittings, two anchor davits with cleat fittings, keel
extension, and two propeller shaft struts. The fore and aft cannon muzzles share a runner. Typical of Civil War artillery, they are much thicker at the base than the
muzzle. The two propellers share a resin casting sheet and will need to be removed from the sheet and cleaned. The two anchors have good detail and are cast
singly on blocks but ends in a tab, making removal and cleaning easy. Four open chocks are on a runner and two twin bollard fittings are on another runner. The
chocks are easy to remove from the runner as they are on a thing strip but care must be used in removing the bollards from their runner so as to not damage the
base plate. Lastly the single ship’s boat is on a casting block connected the block at the transom stern panel. The detail on the boat has interior rib and bottom
planking detail. Most of these smaller resin parts will require clean up and some repair. Flash is the most prominent item to be cleaned but there are also some resin
splash spots to be sanded.

Brass Photo-Etched Fret - Flagship provides a brass photo-etch fret in their CSS Arkansas kit. The fret is dominated by five relief-etched ventilation grates. The
exterior frame is raised over the cross-hatch of the grates. The three casemate grates are the largest with the center grate having a circular frame in the center of
the grate for the funnel. Five coiled ropes are provided for the deck, boat davits and ship’s boat. The broadside gun ports get the shutter door ropes as brass parts.
In addition to the coiled rope, the ship’s boat gets the thwart, oars, oar rowing brackets and a spar in brass. The boat davits get block and tackle and davit rigging
on the fret. The crown of the casement will get individual stanchions with eye holes for the railing for the rails on top of the casemate. You’ll have to thread the rails
through the openings on the stanchions. Brass parts are numbered on the fret with the number appearing in the instructions. Other brass parts include two inclined
ladders with trainable treads, flag and jack staff ropes, funnel stays, and anchor davit rig. Also provided with the fret are brass and plastic rods and anchor chain. A
small decal sheet is provided for the Confederate flag and the interior of the open toped pilot house. I would have preferred to have the pilot house hollow with resin
parts for interior platform, wheel and equipment but the decal giving the illusion of depth is acceptable.
Instructions - One back-printed sheet provides the assembly instructions. As the kit has limited resin parts, they are easy to follow. Page one has general
instructions, a starboard profile, a deck plan and assembly modules on underwater propulsion and rudder parts, one on the ship’s boat and a third on the flag.
Colors of equipment and fittings are shown in the instructions. The back page has assembly modules on the boat davits, gun shutter/ports, railing layout, railing
detail, inclined ladders and anchor davits. At the bottom of the page is a parts laydown. Other paperwork included in the box are additional general instructions and
an order form describing all of Flagship Models’ products.                 

The
Flagship Models CSS Arkansas 1:192 scale ironclad ram is ready to shove those blue belly scalawags up the Yazoo and get those pasty faced carpetbaggers
on the Great Skeedaddle. You too can have the Beast of the Mississippi and free the Magnolia State of blue vermin, thanks to
Flagship Models. Just keep Earl Van
Dorn away from the kit.
Steve Backer
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