Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: CSA Consulate, Rm. 101, Glos. UK: p.s. - Real Dogs Have Feathering.
One of their main problems were that cannon balls of the period bounced off the durn things, so they went back to old school, really old school an put a ram on the bow, much like a Greek/Roman trireme. If you can't shoot a hole in it, crank up the boilers and ram it. That bottom pretty one was built by the UK for the Confederate navy, but it arrived after the war was over.
The beak of a roman era trireme was called a rostrum. The Roman Forum had a speaking area where rostrums from defeated enemy warships were mounted as trophies. You would literally stand on the rostrum to speak to the crowds at the Forum, hence our use of the term to mean a speakers platform.