I read somewhere that the steering rigging on nineteenth century ships was arranged so that the steering wheel controlled the direction of the tiller movement. In other words, turning the wheel to the right turned the tiller to the right--meaning the rudder (and the vessel) turned the opposite way. Hence, an order such as "hard a-starboard" meant the boat actually went to larboard, or to the left.

When I read some of the battle reports from Farragut's ships on the Mississippi, I got the impression that his ships really were rigged so that the steering wheel and the rudder moved in opposite directions.

Can anyone confirm this?

Was the steering on river steamboats also rigged this way?