Glossary of Terms

bow – the front of the ship.

Brooke cannon – type of artillery piece developed by John Mercer Brooke that had rifling inside the bore which allowed for a shot of greater distance and better accuracy.

canister shot – ammunition that was made of a cylindrical (can) container that was filled with pieces of metal, glass, nails, etc. and used primarily as an anti-personnel device.

casemate – the structure on top of the deck of a gunboat that housed and protected the guns and included the captain's/pilot's bridge.

CSS Neuse – CSS stands for Confederate States' Ship. The name of the ship is always italicized like a title. Some local people refer to the CSS Neuse as the Ram Neuse. This is a nickname that is appropriate but not considered the official name.

draft – the depth of water a ship draws especially when fully outfitted or loaded; the depth of water needed to float a ship.

grapeshot – another anti-personnel device consisting of a cluster of small iron balls fired from a cannon.

hull – the bottom of a ship.

ironclad – a wooden ship covered with iron plate.

iron plate – in most cases, iron plate resembled lumber but was made of solid iron in which holes were drilled in order to fasten it onto wooden ships. This made ships more resistant to artillery fire especially from rifled guns.

port – the left side of the ship if you are standing behind the vessel.

projectile – something that is fired from a cannon or gun. In the case of the CSS Neuse, the Brooke guns on the ship fired special bullet-shaped ammunition that also exploded on impact as well as solid shot, canister shot, and grape shot.

ram – a projection on the bow of a warship used to batter or cut into an enemy vessel or other obstacles in its way.

rifle or rifling – the cutting of grooves inside the barrel or bore of a cannon or small arm that forces the projectile (cannon ball, shot, or bullet) to rotate very fast as it leave the barrel. This rotation makes the projectile fly farther and with greater accuracy.

scuttle – to sink or attempt to sink a ship by making holes in the hull.

solid shot – a projectile fired from a cannon that was made of solid iron and did not explode on impact and used primarily to inflict damage on structures and ships.

starboard – the right side of the ship if you are standing behind the vessel.

stern – the rear of the ship.