Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

The Steamboat Planter in Depth

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on May 24, 2012


There’s a well-known stereoview of the South Carolina steamboat Planter, with copies at the NYPL, in the Eric Steinfleldt Collection at SMU, and elsewhere. The image is undated, but I believe it likely is from 1866-76, after the steamer’s wartime service. The ship is a close match for both Planter‘s appearance in 1862, and another postwar image in the collection of the Naval Historical Center in Washington, D.C. (This ship is sometimes mistakenly labeled as being Robert Smalls’ vessel, but it’s an entirely different craft.)

The main difference between this stereo image and the appearance of the ship in 1862 is the location of the pilothouse, a relatively simple modification.

Anyway, get out your red/cyan glasses and enjoy. Instructions on converting an old stereoview to a red/cyan image in Photoshop here.



6 Responses

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  1. theravenspoke said, on May 24, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Where is the *like* button?

  2. Bob Jones' Neighbor said, on May 25, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Makes me wish I had binocular vision instead of my left eye being at around 10%…

  3. There has been much speculation and concern with the two photos of PLANTER and the wood cut illustrations used by Leslies Illustrated and Harpers Weekly, June 14, 1862. As a creditable historian and scholar on the subject of Robert Smalls and the PLANTER let me assure you that these images ARE the same ship. Planter was severely damaged at Sessionville, SC at Christmas time in 1863. She was sent to the US Navy yards in Philadelphia for repairs and during the time from May, 1864 to December, 1864 she was undergoing extensive refitting. Included in those repairs was the installation of new fire tube boilers which changed the fore-aft relationship of the smoke stack and pilot house.

    • Andy Hall said, on March 22, 2015 at 12:13 pm

      I didn’t really doubt that they were — the differences are relatively superficial, and the similarities substantial. The stereo image was taken right after the war, when people in Charleston would be well aware of the identity of the vessel.

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