Tools and Equipment
Much of the routine effort between actions was directed toward maintenance of man and boat. This can be clearly seen by the vast number of tools and equipment recovered from the USS Cairo. The picture of life aboard is illuminated by the great variety of hardware and small parts employed throughout the boat, such as the hammock hooks and padlocks shown above (left).
Below Left: Tools of the carpenter and blacksmith were found in ample supply among the salvaged artifacts. The serving mallet (upper left) was used to bind a rope's end tightly to prevent fraying. Fids (below serving mallet), were sometimes used to open and separate the strands of a rope when splicing.
Below Right: Pulleys called blocks were used for various purposes, particularly to increase the mechanical power of ropes used in heavy lifting. Recovered along with the large and small blocks were thimbles, which are metal rings with a concave outer edge around which a rope can be spliced. These were used to take a hook or to guide another rope.
Did You Know?
Vicksburg National Cemetery is the largest internment of Civil War dead in the nation. It is the burial place for nearly 17,000 Union soldiers.