Civil War Horological Mine

Note: This is an initial 3D model that has not undergone post-processing work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, the model contains small inaccuracies: some geometry/components are distorted.

Civil War horological mine in the collection of the U.S. Naval Undersea Museum. Historically, mines have been effective, inexpensive weapons employed by small or weak navies fighting more powerful opponents. During the Civil War, the weaker Confederate States used undersea mines to defend their waterways against the superior Union Navy. Underwater mines did not change the outcome of any major Civil War battle, but successfully slowed the Union Navy by damaging ships or forcing sailors to clear the mines before advancing. This horological mine was driven by a mechanical clock mechanism. The mechanism’s gears connected to a spring-loaded rod that released when a designated amount of time had passed. When sprung, the rod impelled its hammer into a percussion cap that exploded, setting off black powder contained within the mine’s body. This horological mine is only one of two known to still exist today!

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United States Naval Undersea Museum
1 Garnett Way
United States