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Old 12-17-2010, 07:42 AM
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CSS Macon...no the other one!

Back ground.
Once again the research manuscript produced by John Wallis for his upcoming book has shed light on another ironclad I was unaware of. Although classifying Confederate vessels is somewhat impossable, this one can be said to fall into the Nashville "class" Like the CSS Columbus and the large vessel being built at White Hall, NC, this vessel would have used the engines of a paddle wheel steamer to provide power to two screws through some sort of conversion linkage. Although planned for screw power, it still falls into the Nashville class due to the engine type and overall size and style of construction. The ironclad was to be named the CSS Macon.

The ship was began in Savanna and, although entirely different the the CSS Georgia, spies and Confederate deserters often confused the two in reports to the USN. The 250 foot long "Macon was designed for 12 guns and was to have 4 inches of armor. After long delays in construction, the gunboat gave up the name Macon to a wooden CSN boat, when it became apparent that the ironclad would not be ready anytime soon.

Finally, after the failure of the linkage conversion to arrive, it was proposed that the entire machanical set up from the captured Water witch sidewheeler be transfered to the ironclad, paddlewheels and all. This late conversion would have given the ship a somewhat Frankenstein-ish appearance and reduce its guns to 8, but at least it would have been mobile. In the end the vessel simply disappeared during the fall of Savanna, ind John Wallis speculates that it is buried under that cities shoreline.

The model.
With the White Hall vessel ready for test build and the Texas and Columbus up in the downloads, I set to work on this project, ignoring for now the dozen other projects started. This model, should all go well, will contain both the paddle wheeled version as well as an "as designed" version with screws, and, do to the simplistic design, I am going to (try to)add the hull option as well.

I am guessing that the wooden paddle-boxes would have been armored at least to the extent possible, and the drive shafts would of had some sort of simple armored covering. As with most CSN ships, I am keeping the decks wood, probably raw unseasoned pine. The hull is blackish tare with the underside of the knuckle showing splotchy rust. I went with simple gray for the armor color, although I almost went with the cement coating used on the Georgia.

Anyhow, whatchya think?
Attached Thumbnails
CSS Macon...no the other one!-macon-pic1.jpg   CSS Macon...no the other one!-macon-pic2.jpg   CSS Macon...no the other one!-macon-pic3.jpg   CSS Macon...no the other one!-macon-pic4.jpg  
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:43 AM
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CT

I like the look of the Macon but you have got to figure that at the most it woul dhave been good for one journey based upon the paddlewheels and the targets that they would have been for union vessel guns. I would like very much to add this to my CT folder and look forward to having a copy for the future.

Thanks for your efforts on these historical ships.

Joe
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:07 AM
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nice looking ship! Carry on
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Old 12-17-2010, 10:26 AM
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Thanks guys.
As to the paddle wheels, yep a week spot. However, the natural redundancy of the wheel makes it necessary to hit it many times to cause enough damage to stop it from working. The exception is the shaft. There were many Union and Confederate sidewheelers that had many shells bust up the paddles but were still able to maneuver. Should one side's efficiency be cut down by missing paddles, the pilot could reduce rotation to the working wheel and use the rudder to help compensate, and keep the ship in control. At least one Confederate wooden gun boat escaped Union forces by doing just that, even though over half of the paddles were broken on the port wheel.

My conservancy would be overall strength, as these, if used, were add on's after the fact. I do not think much armor could have been added without the whole thing drooping. The projected speed was to be around eight knots, another weekness in relation to the wheels. Any damage would certainly slow the ship down, making more damage likely. But it was still better then being defenseless. And because most of the Union Navy was wood, any Confederate ironclad posed a threat just by existing. The CSS Missouri tied up a large number of Union warships, even though the ironclad never fired a shot!
CT
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:58 AM
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There is another large mass underwater, adjacent to the remains of Georgia. there is a possibility that this is the Macon.
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:37 AM
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Well, after some further discussion with Rebel at Sea, I have desided to offer this model with or with out the side wheel paddle boxes, and also offer two different sets of boxes, one lightly armored, and one in plain wood. I am holding off (for now) on the full hull design and keeping with my normal 1/250 scale water line model. (sorry)

It has been some time but now I have a working computer again. My newest one is down because of power/charging issues , but my old one is (mostly) up and working. Until I get my new one up many of my more resent projects are trapped on that ones hard drive. But I had this model saved on an external so we should be off and running!
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:47 PM
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OK, here is another option. This option is showing the Macon with the complete workings of the CSS Water Witch, cut in half and added onto the ironclad as is. I am including a picture or two of the Water Witch repro down in Columbus GA. I think I got it about right. The Macon being wider then the Water Witch, much fill in with heavy timbers would have been need. Also, the skirtig on the ironclad extends lower over the wheels, so again, heavy timber is added there as well. I am not saying this is what would of happened given time and restrictions on armor/machinery, but it was being contemplated by the builders. The white would be the original Water Witch paddle boxes and housing.
Attached Thumbnails
CSS Macon...no the other one!-autosave_autosave_georgia2.jpg   CSS Macon...no the other one!-port_columbus_2010_b.jpg   CSS Macon...no the other one!-port_columbus_2010_g.jpg  
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:48 AM
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I thought much along the same lines, and produced this plan.
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CSS Macon...no the other one!-css-macon-1-completed.jpg  
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:49 AM
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I thought much along the same lines, and produced this plan, doing the same thing but in simplified form.
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