Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher
Fort Fisher, NE Bastion. Frank Vizetelly (National Geographic)

Monday, January 4, 2016

CSS Arctic-- Part 4: Looking for Arctic Explorer John Franklin

Continued from December 24, 2015.

There is some confusion as to whether the CSS Arctic was the USS Arctic, a lightship.

In 1854, the U.S. Navy authorized a search mission for the Franklin.  A strong, stout ship was needed which could be modified for use in far north waters.  They found a lightship under construction in Philadelphia and believed it was just what they needed.  They named it the USS Arctic.

The engines were intended for a tugboat and sheet iron was placed on the hull for protection against ice.  (This could be a reason why some sources list the CSS Arctic as an ironclad.)

The Kane Mission returned without find the Franklin and the USS Arctic was laid up.  It was then fitted out for cable laying and coastal survey work.

--Old B-Runner

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