Wood Ship Kits

Harriet Lane Civil War Gun boat 1861Kit


Built in New York for the U.S. Revenue Service in 1857, the Harriet Lane was powered by a combination of steam and sail. She carried a 30 lb. Parrott rifle, plus three 9" smooth-bore Dahlgrens. Her design clearly illustrates the transition from sail to steam, as steam engines were not entirely reliable, and power was not yet sufficient to allow the elimination of sail.

Harriet Lane was transferred to the Navy March 1861 for service in the expedition sent to Charleston, South Carolina, to supply the Fort Sumter garrison. When Major Robert Anderson surrendered Fort Sumter 13 April, Harriet Lane withdrew with her sister ships.

Her next important service came the following summer when a task force was sent against Fort Clark and Fort Hatteras on the outer banks of North Carolina to check blockade running in the area. The ships sortied from Hampton Roads 26 August 1861 for this first important combined amphibious operation of the war. The next morning Harriet Lane, Monticello, and Pawnee slipped close inshore to provide direct support to the landings while heavier ships pounded the forts from deeper water. The last resistance was snuffed out the following afternoon, giving a badly needed boost to morale in the North disheartened a month before by defeat in the First Battle of Bull Run. Of greater importance was the fact that this combined operation opened the inland waterways to Union ships and gave the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron a base deep in Southern waters. Harriet Lane ran aground while attempting to enter Pamlico Sound through Hatteras Inlet 29 August and suffered severe damage while fast on the shoal. She was refloated at the cost of her armament, rigging, stores, provisions, and everything else on board which could be heaved over the side to lighten ship. Harriet Lane sailed 10 February 1862 to join Commander David Dixon Porter's Mortar Flotilla at Key West, where units were assembling for an attack on Confederate forts in the Mississippi River Delta below New Orleans, Louisiana.

On 24 February, she captured the Confederate schooner Joanna Ward off Florida. The Mortar Flotilla sailed from Key West 6 March to begin the operation which would deprive the Confederacy of the use of its largest inland waterway. Harriet Lane, as Porter's flagship, was among the ships which engaged Forts Jackson and St. Philip, which protected New Orleans. She helped provide the intense fire which covered Flag Officer David Farragut's daring rush past the forts on 24 April. "You supported us most noble," wrote Farragut in praise of Porter's action. On 29 April Harriet Lane steamed up river to accept the surrender of upstream forts. The success of this attack opened the way for the movement of waterborne Union forces, now free to steam up river to join those coming south from Illinois to form a pincer which would sever the Confederacy. Farragut ordered the Mortar Flotilla to Ship Island 1 May, and Harriet Lane continued to Pensacola, Florida where she transported Brigadier General Lewis G. Arnold's troops from Fort Pickens to the other side of the bay where they occupied Forts Barrancas, and McRee, Barancas Barracks, and the Navy Yard which had been abandoned by the Confederates. Back at Ship Island for repairs 30 May, Harriet Lane prepared to ascend the Mississippi with Porter's mortar boats to engage enemy batteries on the cliffs of Vicksburg, Mississippi while Farragut ran past this river stronghold to join Flag Officer Charles H. Davis in an effort to clear the entire Mississippi Valley of obstructions to Union shipping. However, sufficient ground forces to take Vicksburg were not made available, nullifying the value of his operation, and after a frustrating encounter with new Confederate ironclad ram Arkansas, Farragut ran back down past Vicksburg while Harriet Lane and her sister vessels in the Mortar Flotilla again covered the dash by bombarding the Confederate batteries 15 July. As his ships required extensive repairs and most of his men were ill, Farragut ordered his ships to rendezvous at Pensacola. Following blockade duty in Mobile Bay, Harriet Lane sailed for Galveston, Texas, which she bombarded and captured, with the aid of Westfield, Owasoo, Clifton, and Henry Janes, 3 October 1862. She was in Galveston Harbor when the Confederates retook that base 1 January 1863; and, after a bitter contest in which her captain, Comdr. Jonathan M. Wainwright and executive officer, Lt. Comdr. Edward Lea, were killed, she fell into Southern hands. After serving the Confederate Army's Marine Department of Texas, she was sold to T. W. House, who converted her into a blockade runner named Lavinia. She finally escaped Galveston 30 April 1864 and sailed to Havana, where she was interned. In 1867, following the war, she was recovered from Cuba; was converted to a bark rig; and renamed Elliott Richie. She was abandoned off Pernambuco, Brazil, 13 May 1884.

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#195-888-4 Block hull construction
This kit features a machine carved hardwood hull which needs only light shaping and sanding. We provide plank-scored basswood for decking and cabins, spars and hardwood blocks. Ladders, anchors, paddle wheels, two ship's boats, four cannon with carriages and numerous other fittings are finely cast Britannia metal. The kit has been upgraded to include laser cut paddle wheel covers. Detailed plans and newly written clear instructions by master ship modeler, Ben Lankford, are easy to follow. (Baseboard and brass pedestals are not included.)
Dimensions: Length: 18-1/2"(000mm) Height: 9-1/4"(00mm) Scale: 1/96 (1/8"= 1ft).
US$190.00 on special US$139.95

Please include and charge me for the glues required.

Paint sets
Please pick the paints for me. (Acrylic paints. US$2.50 each)

Ship building tools: specialized tools to aid in planking & rigging.

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This page was last updated Sep 27th 2018.

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