CSS Indianola?

@Arnold d.c

Here's another alternate history "mini-scenario," this time focusing on the Vicksburg campaign.

Most of us likely know of Admiral Porter's clever plan to scare off the Rebels attempting to salvage the grounded ironclad Indianola, constructing the dummy ironclad Black Terror. It attracted the fire of the Vicksburg batteries and successfully alarmed General Carter L. Stevenson, who ordered the Indianola destroyed. He later realized he had been fooled, but it was too late, and the salvage crew had burned the ship.

However, what if the Vicksburg batteries manage one or two lucky hits on the Black Terror and set her ablaze? What would Porter's next move be to stop the efforts to salvage the ironclad - recall the Ram Fleet and end the Yazoo Pass Expedition?
 
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What would Porter's next move be to stop the efforts to salvage the ironclad - recall the Ram Fleet and end the Yazoo Pass Expedition
Hmm.. I think that the failure of the dummy monitor means that Indianapolis will be in Confederate service. Porter himself told Grant that once a vessel had gone below Vicksburg, it would not be able to come back. Porter can, and did, pass the blame to Charles Rivers Ellet.

Actually, giving it some more thought, Farragut could try but his warships had difficulty passing the gauntlet of Port Hudson. I’m currently away from my books at the moment so I can’t really say if Farragut had a chance to disrupt the scavenging operation.

If Indianapolis was restored for Confederate service, it could play a role in the Bayou Teche Campaign, particularly at Fort Bisland. This article gives a good explanation for the naval portion of the battle of Fort Bisland. ITTL, the Confederates would have Nina Simms, Queen of the West and Indianapolis to throw at U.S. Navy. I’m not really a naval expert so I can’t say if they would win against Calhoun, Arizona and Estrella for certain.

Still, what happens in the Gulf might just stay in the Gulf. Taylor’s army was pretty small and weak in early ‘63, Walker’s Division might get sent to Vicksburg early but its impact on supply operations would be limited and the Port Hudson garrison could avoid getting besieged.
 
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