Line engraving published in "The Soldier in Our Civil War", Vol. II, page 68. It depicts one of the two turret ironclads laid down in 1862 by Laird Brothers for the Confederate States. El Tousson was a cover name for the ship intended to become CSS North Carolina. Nominally under construction for Egypt, her true ownership became known and she was seized by the British government in 1863, purchased for the Royal Navy in 1864 and completed in October 1865 as HMS Scorpion.
Belt: 4.5 in (11 cm), 3 in (7.6 cm) (bow), 2 in (5.1 cm) (stern)
Turrets: 10 in (25 cm) (face), 5 in (13 cm) (sides)
HMS Scorpion, an ironcladturret ship built at Birkenhead, England, was one of two sister ships that the Confederate States of America secretly ordered from the Laird shipyard in 1862. To conceal her true ownership, all concerned endorsed the fiction that she was being constructed as the Egyptian warship El Tousson. She was to have been named North Carolina upon delivery to the Confederates. The British government seized the pair of ironclads in October 1863, a few months after their launch and before they could be completed.
In early 1864, the Admiralty purchased both for the Royal Navy and named them Scorpion and Wivern. Commissioned in July 1865, Scorpion was assigned to the Channel Fleet until 1869, with time out for a refit that reduced her sailing rig from a bark to a schooner. In late 1869, she moved to Bermuda for coast and harbor defense service. Scorpion remained there for over three decades before being removed from the effective list.