Event: Eads Builds Ironclad Riverboats
Category: Economy/Employment, Politics and Government
Brief Description: When the Civil War began, noted Engineer James B. Eads was asked to by the U.S. government for advice on how to wrest control of the lower Mississippi River from the Confederacy. Eads proposed building armor-plated, shallow-draft gunboats to help Union land forces overpower Confederate forts impeding their progress downriver. He received a contract from the federal government and, in only 100 days, built seven ironclad riverboats at the Union Marie Works in Carondelet. His City Class Ironclads were commissioned and in service on the western waters by January 1862. The first ironclads built in the United States, these gunboats played an integral role in winning the "Mighty Mississippi" for the Union and thus cutting the Confederacy in two. Eads also designed a complex steam-driven turret used on river monitors during the war that rivaled John Ericsson´s celebrated model. Two of these monitors, the Chickasaw and Winnebago, made history as part of David "Damn the torpedoes!" Farragut´s fleet when he entered Mobile Bay in 1864.
Decade: 1860 - 1869
Beginning Date: Aug. 01, 1861
Ending Date: Aug. 01, 1861
site was made possible by: the City of St. Louis Planning and Urban Design Agency and