This ship is intimidating. Even out of the water and out of commission! Imagine seeing it during a time when river gunboats made of iron were few and far between. This is the USS Cairo, one of seven City Class Ironclads built for the Union Navy.
This particular one did not see much action though. You can see in this photo what a disaster the right side of the boat is.
The USS Cairo was brought down by detonated torpedoes. It sunk to the bottom of the Mississippi in 12 minutes, where it stayed until it was discovered in 1956. It was not until 9 years later in 1965 that the remains of the ironclad were lifted out of the river. Now it sits in the Vicksburg Military Park.
It's likely a cannon on an ironclad like this is the culprit behind the cannonball lodged in the wall of the Cedar Grove Mansion.
Oscillating arm and paddle wheels.
Boilers and a steam drum.
Capstan --this winch helped the crew haul heavy lines, move guns, and pull in the anchor.
There is a small museum for the USS Cairo. It holds some of the artifacts salvaged from the vessel:
USS Cairo Bell --as this 400 pound bronze bell was being recovered, a pocket of air which had been trapped beneath the gell when the Cairo sank - bubbled to the surface.
A model of what the USS Cairo looked like.
Artifacts recovered from the ship.
Part 5 of our Arkansas-Mississippi road trip coming soon!
: 3201 Clay Street, Vicksburg, MS 39183. Milepost 7.8 along park tour road.
: Daily 8.30am – 5pm
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