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“Not Shot Proof...”
The U.S.S. Galena under fire from Confederate fortifications at Drewry’s Bluff, May 15, 1862

The 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 into surrender”.

Eight miles below Richmond, at a sharp bend in the river the Union vessels came upon the Confederate fortifications at Drewry’s 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 Galena’s performance in his report by saying “We demonstrated that she was not shot proof.”

The ferocious Confederate defense at Drewry’s Bluff forced the Union to abandon the plan to reach Richmond.

Edition 300 S/N
Size 14" x 22"
Price $95

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Copyright© 2006 Paul Bender. All rights reserved.