Tuesday, March 15, 2011

River Blast 2011 Day 2

13 March 2011

9:00 AM. Arrived back at the site. Since Sunday morning was a bit slow, in terms of visitors, I took some time to roam through the Port Columbus museum. In yesterday's post, I mentioned a few of the things the museum features. It is a treasure trove of artifacts, exhibits, displays, artwork and information on the US and CS Navies in the Civil War. The museum boasts one of the largest collections of jacks and flags flown on ships of both navies. Exhibits include a full-size replica of a portion of the hull of the USS Hartford (which you can walk through to view berth deck, wardroom and captain's cabin), a full size replica of the turret of the USS Monitor, a full-size replica of the gun deck of the CSS Albemarle, and their signature piece; the remains of the CSS Jackson.

The Jackson display consists of the remains of the wooden hull of the gunboat, and a metal framework suspended over the hull indicates the dimensions of the iron casemate. Oval shapes on the framework show the locations of the gunports in the casemate. Behind the museum in a storage area are some of the actual iron plates used on the casemate.

11:00 AM. Worked on a gun crew again firing the Brooke rifle. The museum also has a 12 pdr Dahlgren boat howitzer which they periodically fired. Like the Brooke, this howitzer is real, not a replica.

12 Noon to 4:00 PM. Spent some more time on the Water Witch and in camp talking with visitors. The museum estimated that they had 400-500 visitors over the weekend.

Museum director Bruce Smith (as USN Captain) and members of the USS Fort Henry Living History Association. Yours truly on the right.

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