Gun #2: a hot shot gun?

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Posted by Mabry Tyson on March 01, 2003 at 12:03:14:

In Reply to: Tindall, William: The True Story of the Virginia and the Monitor posted by Mabry Tyson on February 28, 2003 at 23:01:56:

He states:

"Her forward port broadside 9-inch gun was nearest one of the two furnaces and was accordingly the gun which was used to fire hot shot."


"The most serious injuries to the crew of the Virginia were incurred in her contest with the Cumberland. As she was backing from that vessel, after ramming it and leaving her prow fast in its hull, a shot struck her forward port broadside gun and broke off its muzzle and several feet of its chase, killing one of the crew and wounding several more, among them Midshipman H. H. Marmaduke, whose gallantry and that of others on that occasion was warmly commended in the report of her Commander. A hot shot had been rammed home and the lanyard of the gun pulled at the instant a shot from the Cumberland hit it with such disastrous effect."

but Eggleston's article in The Southern Historical Society Papers, v. 41 (1916), pp 166-178 says

"Two of the rifles, bow and stern pivots, were seven-inch, the other two, on the broadside, 6-4-inch guns, one on each side, near the furnaces, were fitted for firing hot shot."


"I commanded the two hot-shot guns directly under the main hatch, and just over the furnace. All great guns then were muzzle-loaders. The hot shot was hoisted from below in an iron bucket, placed by means of tugs in the muzzle of the gun, slightly elevated and allowed to roll against the well-soaked wad that rested against the powder. Another soaked wad kept the shot in place."

That first quote is confusing. Is he really saying that the 6.4" rifles were hot shot guns? That contradicts what Jones says. Also, from the description he gives ("roll"), it sounds like he had spherical shot, not rifle shells. Perhaps he was listing the distinguished guns: 2 7" rifles, 2 6.4" rifles, and 1 gun on each side that was for hot shot.

E.A. Jack's Memoirs indicates that Marmaduke was at gun 2 and that Eggleston commanded guns 4 and 5.

Catesby ap Roger Jones (1874) writes

"The nine-inch gun on each side nearest the furnaces was fitted for firing hot shot. A few nine-inch shot with extra windage were cast for hot shot. No other solid shot were on board during the fight."

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