I mentioned source materials earlier. I’ve two primary sources and odds and ends found on-line.
The most useful would be CSS Alabama, Anatomy of a Confederate Raider
by Andrew Bowcock. Naval Institute Press 2002 ISBN 1-55750-003-7. This books organized and researched like the old Anatomy of the Ship series. Packed full of drawings, original, and tracings of the archived primary source documents.
The other hardcopy source I’ve had around for years is Memoirs of Service Afloat, During the War Between the States
. by the ship’s commander Raphael Semmes. It’s not packed full of technical details but what it does have sheds amazing light on the vessel. It’s primarily a recounting of his personal logs during the Civil War, day to day stuff and seemingly endless dissertations on science, politics, and why the South tried parting ways from the Southern view. That’s actually very good reading and goes against what we were taught in school here in the U.S., which is primarily the Northern (Union) perspective. You should hear the sanitized politically correct version they teach kids these days…Orwellian revisionism at it’s worst.
A question I’d hoped to resolve was the stern windows. They were definitely dummied in and did not penetrate the hull. Glazed or painted wasn’t directly answered, and on the earliest models they were painted. No clue regarding color in the black and white half toned images. Two on deck photos looking aft clearly show that there were gun-ports on the aft quarters for chase guns. The outer faces of the ports would have been hidden by the windows and decorations. The remaining interior face deck edges were lined with lockers and the propeller lifting gear.
The prop could be uncoupled from the shaft and raised out of the water into a well to reduce drag while under sail. A common feature for early auxiliary steamers.
What else is of interest? Built by Laird, hull No. 290. The sail plan as drawn here is as designed by them, I’m assuming British practice. Judging by period paintings (at least the ones cited as being reliable by today’s curators) the Gaff Topsail may have changed and there’s the possibility of Royals on the Fore and Main masts (lubbers can mentally add another sail to the tippy-top of the front masts). Not many of the paintings have this feature.
There was also the hardware to add Studding Sails to the Fore Mast. That’s a lot more canvas to clutter the drawing with.
So, here’s the current drawing, which I’m hoping is close to Shipbucket standards. I’d appreciate folks time to tear it apart, critique, and supply a flogging. I’d like to try for one last edit.
Removed the graded shading to sails, upper, and lower hull.
Cheers and Thanks!