Armor - Iron Plating on the USS Cairo

Gun Ports #3 and #4
Gun Ports #3 and #4

NPS Photo

The starboard (right) side of the gunboat shows gun ports number 3 and 4. The iron plating was mounted as part of the sloping casemate that enclosed the gun deck. The 2-1/2 inch thick charcoal plate iron was originally backed by a two foot thickness of white oak timbers. Without the wood to absorb the shock of shot and shell hitting the iron, the metal would have shattered like glass.

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