Thursday, December 13, 2012
CSS Virginia Ship Model and Armor Plate
As you can see in the photograph above, the armor has been pierced in three places. In these spots, workers hammered in bolts to connect the armor to either the ship's second layer of armor or to the planks of wood that backed up the armor. However, in Ironclad Down: USS Merrimack-CSS Virginia, From Construction to Destruction, Carl Park noted that it is unclear what pattern Virginia's designers had in mind for these holes. Other examples of Virginia's armor remain at Norfolk Navy Yard's Trophy Park, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum, and the Museum of Confederacy, and all have their own unique pattern of bolt holes. While there are not many pieces of Virginia's armor remaining, Park remarked that there is enough written evidence from Tredegar's management and the ship's designers to suggest that there may have been no pattern at all. Thus, most drawings of Virginia (such as the one shown above) are most likely incorrect because they show a straight, uniform pattern of bolts on the ship.