The U.S.S. Galena under fire from Confederate fortifications
at Drewrys Bluff, May 15, 1862
early Union Ironclad U.S.S. Galena, accompanied by the U.S.S.
Monitor and three other vessels, were ordered to sail up
the James River with ambitious orders to reach the Confederate
capital of Richmond, Virginia and shell the place
Eight miles below Richmond, at a sharp bend in the river
the Union vessels came upon the Confederate fortifications
at Drewrys Bluff. The Union Commander John Rodgers,
while having concerns about the armor of the Galena, maneuvered
her to within 600 yards of the Confederate guns. For almost
four hours the Galena exchanged fire with the Confederate
gunners on the 200-foot-high bluff and shoreline rifle pits.
After sustaining 28 hits, and with ammunition running low,
the Galena was ordered to withdraw.
The plunging fire from the buff had heavily damaged the
Galena. Her hull armor and upper works were shattered, the
funnel holed, and the deck had numerous holes punched through
it. Commander Rodgers summed up the Galenas performance
in his report by saying We demonstrated that she was
not shot proof.
The ferocious Confederate defense at Drewrys Bluff
forced the Union to abandon the plan to reach Richmond.
Size 14" x 22"
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