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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive

USS MILWAUKEE


Info courtesy of hazegray.org.
Milwaukee Class Monitor: Displacement: 1,300 tons. Dimensions: 229 x 56 x 6 feet/69.8 x 17.07 x 1.83 meters. Propulsion: HNC steam engines, 7 boilers, 4 shafts, 9 knots. Crew: 120. Armor: Iron: 3 inch sides, .5 inch deck, 8 inch turrets. Armament: 2 dual turrets, each with 2x11 inch Dahlgren smoothbore.

Concept/Program: A class of shallow-draft dual-turret monitors designed for river service, but also employed in the Gulf of Mexico. Apparently were some of the best-designed monitors of the time, and were generally a success.
Design: Designed by Eads. They were iron-hulled with a turtleback deck. The forward turret was a standard Ericsson turret (as in the Passaic class ), but the aft one was designed by Eads. The Eads turret allowed double the elevation of the main guns (20 degrees vs. 10 degrees). There was a pilothouse at deck level, abaft the forward turret. Additional deck armor was later added over the magazines and perhaps over the machinery. Evidently had much better compartmentalization than other monitors of the time, as the one that was mined took three minutes to sink (vs. 15-30 seconds for other classes), and one compartment of the sunken ship did not flood for nearly an hour.

Operational and Building Data: Double-turreted monitor Milwaukee. Contracted to James B. Eads; construction subcontracted to Union Iron Works, Carondelet, MO. Contracted 27 May 1862, launched 4 February 1864, commissioned 27 August 1864. Operated exclusively in the area of Mobile, AL.
Fate: Mined and sunk in the Blakely River, 29 March 1865. Salvaged in 1868, towed to St. Louis and scrapped; some material reportedly was used in the construction of the Eads Bridge in St. Louis.

In Memorium:

In the Second Book of Shmuel (Samuel), 22nd chapter, 5th through the 19th verses, translated from the original in Hebrew and published by the Koren Publishers of Jerusalem, Israel, can perhaps aptly describe the fate of the crew and all other U.S.sailors who died defending their county:

"When the waves of death compassed me / the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; / the bonds of She'ol encircled me; / the snares of death took me by surprise; / in my distress I called upon the Lord, / and cried to my G-D: / and he heard my voice out of his temple, / and my cry entered into his ears. / Then the earth shook and trembled; /the foundations of heaven moved / and shook because of his anger /...the heavy mass of waters, and thick clouds of the skies /... And the channels of the sea appeared, / the foundations of the world were laid bare, / at the rebuking of the Lord, at the blast at the breath of his nostrils. / He sent from above, he took me; / he drew me out of many waters; / he delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me; for they were too strong for me. / They surprised me in the day of my calamity: / but the Lord was my stay..."

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Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
Milwaukee 112k This drawing of the Milwaukee class was submitted to the Navy department by James B. Eads as part of a proposal for warship construction. The ships generally followed this drawing as completed. However, one boiler was added in the middle pair and the pilothouse aft of the forward turret, designed by Eads as a truncated cone, was substantially altered. Photo & text courtesy of"Monitors of the U.S. Navy, 1861-1937", pg 38, by Lt. Richard H. Webber, USNR-R. (LOC) Library of Congress, Catalog Card No. 77-603596.
Milwaukee 68k Milwaukee in the Mississippi River area, circa 1864-65. Photographed by T. Lilienthal, New Orleans, Louisiana.Courtesy of the Philibrick Collection, Kittery, Maine.U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 510.
Milwaukee 83k Milwaukee photographed on the Western Rivers during the last year of the Civil War. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 46129.
Milwaukee 59k Milwaukee probably photographed in Mobile Bay, Alabama, in early 1865. Note awnings spread over her decks and anti-mine "torpedo rake" deployed at her bow. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 60651.
Battle of Mobile Bay 145k "The Siege of Mobile--Wreck of the Osage and the Monitor Milwaukee." Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 29 April 1865, depicting Osage striking a mine and sinking near Spanish Fort on 29 March 1865. The wreck of Milwaukee, which had been sunk by a mine on the previous day, is in the center middle distance. The twin-turret monitors at right are two of the following: Winnebago, Chickasaw and Kickapoo. Ships in the right distance are "Double-Ender" and "Tinclad" gunboats also engaged in attacking the Confederate-held Spanish Fort. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 59155.
Battle of Mobile Bay 47k James Henry Gillis, last C.O. of the Milwaukee. USN photo courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Photo added 05/24/12.
(NISMF)376kA guest studies a painting depicting the history of battleships. The artwork was painted by George Skybeck and presented to the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association during their annual banquet at Honolulu, Hawaii, on 8 December 1991. USN photo # DN-SC-92-05391, by PHC Carolyn Harris, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.

Crew Contact And Reunion Information
Not Applicable To This Ship
Additional Resources
Hazegray & Underway Battleship Pages By Andrew Toppan.
Monitor National Marine Santuary, NOAA.
Tour the Wreck of the Monitor.

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