were a classification of steam-powered warships
where a wooden ship was protected from enemy fire by bales of cotton
lining its sides. This provided some protection from enemy fire, but not to the extent of ironclads
. Cotton-clads were prevalent during the American Civil War
, particularly in the Confederate States Navy
for riverine service.
The heavy bales of cotton slowed small arms fire, but at times the cotton would catch fire from artillery shells.