Ship List Confederate

CSS = Confederate States Ship; LSNS = Louisiana State Navy Ship

NAME

TYPE

COMMISSIONED SERVED

DISPLACEMENT

THE NEW ORLEANS SQUADRON

CSS McRae

Screw gunboat

March 1861

680 tons

CSS Jackson

Sidewheel gunboat

May 1861

297 tons

LSNS General Quitman

Sidewheel cottonclad ram

February 1862

945 tons

LSNS Governor Moore

Sidewheel cottonclad ram

January 1862

1,215 tons

CSS Warrior

Sidewheel cottonclad ram

March 1862

-

CSS Stonewall Jackson

Sidewheel cottonclad gunboat

March 1862

-

CSS Defiance

Sidewheel gunboat

December 1861

544 tons

CSS Resolute

Sidewheel gunboat

March 1862

-

CSS General Lovell

Sidewheel ram

March 1862

-

CSS General Breckenridge

Sternwheel gunboat

April 1862

-

OTHER VESSELS AT NEW ORLEANS

CSS Anglo-Saxon

Sidewheel gunboat

January 1862

508 tons

CSS Arrow

Screw gunboat

March 1862

-

CSS Mosher

Screw tugboat

-

-

CSS Star

Screw tugboat

-

-

CSS Phoenix

Screw tugboat

-

-

CSS Landis

Sidewheel tender

-

-

CSS W. Burton

Sidewheel tender

-

-

THE RIVER DEFENSE FLEET

CSS Little Rebel

Sidewheel cottonclad ram

February 1862

161 tons

CSS General Bragg

Sidewheel cottonclad gunboat

March 1862

1,024 tons

CSS General Sterling Price

Sidewheel cottonclad ram

January 1862

633 tons

CSS General Sumter

Sidewheel cottonclad ram

February 1862

524 tons

CSS General Earl Van Dorn

Sidewheel cottonclad ram

April 1862

-

CSS General M. Jeff Thompson

Sidewheel cottonclad ram

April 1862

-

CSS Colonel Lovell

Sidewheel cottonclad ram

November 1861

521 tons

CSS General Beauregard

Sidewheel cottonclad ram

April 1862

454 tons

OTHER CONFEDERATE GUNBOATS OPERATING ON THE MISSISSIPPI

CSS Calhoun

Sidewheel gunboat

June 1861

508 tons

CSS Ivy

Sidewheel gunboat

as privateer in May 1861

447 tons

CSS James L. Day

Sidewheel gunboat

May 1861

414 tons

CSS Oregon

Sidewheel gunboat

June 1861

532 tons

LENGTH

ARMAMENT

REMARKS

1

-

8 guns

Sunk following heavy damage in action, April 1862

-

2 guns

Destroyed to prevent capture, April 1862

230 ft

2 guns

Destroyed to prevent capture. April 1862

220 ft

2 guns

Destroyed in action, April 1862

-

1 gun

Destroyed in action, April 1862

-i-

-

1 gun

Destroyed in action. April 1862

178 ft

1 gun

Destroyed to prevent capture. April 1862

-

2 guns

Destroyed to prevent capture, April 1862

-

1 gun

Destroyed to prevent capture, April 1862

1 gun

Destroyed to prevent capture. April 1862

120 ft

-

Damaged and abandoned. April 1862; salvaged, and used as a Union transport

1 gun

Destroyed to prevent capture, June 1862

Sunk in action, April! 862

—L

-

Sunk in action, April 1862

Sunk in action, April 1862

Damaged in action and captured. April 1862

-

Damaged in action and captured, April 1862

-

3 guns

Ran aground and captured, June 1862; later used in Union service

208 ft

2 guns

Ran aground and captured, June 1862; later used in Union service

182 ft

4 guns

Sunk in action, June 1862; later salvaged and used in Union service

182 ft

5 guns

Ran aground and captured, June 1862; later used in Union service

1 gun

Burned to prevent capture, June 1862

Sunk in action, June 1862

162 ft

4 guns

Sunk in action, June 1862

162 ft

5 guns

Sunk at action, June 1862

i

174 ft

3 guns

Captured, January 1862, and later used in Union service; transferred to US Army, June 1864, and renamed General Sedgewick

191 ft

4 guns

Destroyed to prevent capture. May 1863

187 ft

-

Fate unknown, but probably destroyed to prevent capture, April 1862

217 ft

4 guns

Destroyed to prevent capture, April 1862

NAME

TYPE

COMMISSIONED SERVED

DISPLACEMENT

OTHER CONFEDERATE

CSS Barataría

CSS Tuscarora

CSS Webb

CSS Pamlico CSS General Polk CSS Grand Duke

GUNBOATS OPERATING

Sternwheel ironclad gunboat

ON THE MISSISSIPPI (CONTINUED)

September 1861

400 tons

Sidewheel gunboat August 1861 January 1862

Sidewheel cottonclad Sidewheel Sidewheel Sidewheel gunboat ram gunboat gunboat cottonclad

September 1861 October 1861 February 1863

Mississippi and Arkansas Rivers

Mississippi and Red Rivers 655 tons

Lake Pontchartrain 218 tons

Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers 390 tons

Red River 508 tons

CSS J.A. Cotton

CSS Livingston

Sidewheel cottonclad March 1863 gunboat

Sidewheel gunboat February 1862

Red River

Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers

372 tons

CSS Maurepas Sidewheel gunboat November 1861 Mississippi and White Rivers 399 tons

CSS Pontchartrain Sidewheel gunboat March 1862 Mississippi and Red Rivers 454 tons

CSS St Mary Sidewheel gunboat September 1862 Yazoo River 60 tons

CSS Tom Sugg

Sidewheel gunboat August 1861

White River

62 tons

FURTHER READING

Bauer, Jack K., and Roberts, Stephen S.; Register of Ships of the US Navy, 1775-1990, Greenwood Press (Westport. CT, 1991) Bennett, Frank M.; The Steam Navy of the United States,

Warren and Company (Pittsburgh, PA, 1896) Canney, Donald L.; Lincoln's Navy; The Ships, Men and Organization, 1861-65, Conway Maritime Press (London, UK, 1998) Coombe, Jack D.; Thunder along the Mississippi: The River Battles that split the Confederacy, Sarpedon (New York, 1996) Jones, Virgil Carrington; The Civil War at Sea [2 volumes], Rinehart and Winston (New York, 1960), reprinted in 3 volumes by Broadfoot Press (Wilmington. NC, 1990) Musicant, Ivan; Divided Waters: The Naval History of the Civil

War. Castle Books (Edison. NJ. 2000) Luraghi, Raimondo; A History of the Confederate Navy. Naval

Institute Press (Annapolis, MD, 1996) Silverstone. Paul H.; Warships of the Civil War Navies. Naval

Institute Press (Annapolis, MD. 1989) Still, William N., (ed.); The Confederate Navy; The Ships, Men and Organization, 1861-65, Naval Institute Press and Conway Maritime Press (Annapolis, MD, and London, UK, 1997) Underwood. Robert, and Buel, Clarence Clough, (eds.) Battles and Leaders of the Civil War [Four Volumes], Century Company (New York, 1887), reprinted by Castle (Edison, NJ, 1987). Note that this source contains articles originally published in Century Magazine, including accounts by participants in the river battles on the Mississippi. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion [30 volumes], Government Printing Office (Washington, DC, 1894-1921)

COLOR PLATE COMMENTARY

PLATE A

USS Lexington

One of the first three Union gunboats to see service on the Mississippi River, the 362-ton USS Lexington carried a powerful broadside armament of four 8-inch smoothbore guns, and two 32-pounders (the latter guns carried in her deckhouse). She first saw action in a skirmish with the Confederate gunboat Jackson off Hickman, Kentucky, in October 1861, and also participated in the capture of Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. After the fort's capture she roamed down the river as far as Florence, Alabama, during February 1862, before providing gunfire support for the army at the Battle of Shiloh in April 1862. She spearheaded other drives up the White River in Arkansas and the Yazoo River in Mississippi during 1862 before participating in the capture of Fort Hindman on the Arkansas River in January 1863. Further operations up the Mississippi tributaries in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee followed. One of the most active Union gunboats on the Mississippi, the Lexington survived the war, and was sold out of service in August 1865.

USS Switzerland

One of the rams designed by Colonel Ellet (also known as War Department Rams), the Switzerland entered service in May 1862, just in time to participate in the Battle of Memphis on June 6. Although she was unable to ram anything during the battle, the Ellet Ram fleet distinguished themselves, and confounded their critics. Unlike the other rams in the fleet, her tall slab sides and sharp-angled superstructure permitted the fitting of additional armament, and extra ordnance was accordingly placed in a casemate on her upper deck. She took part in a reconnaissance up the Yazoo River in Mississippi before joining the main fleet outside Vicksburg. She was damaged in March 1863 as she and the ram USS

LENGTH

ARMAMENT

REMARKS

L

3 guns

Captured, April 1862; later used in Union service

2 guns

Destroyed by accidental fire, November 1861

206 ft

3 guns

Destroyed to prevent capture. April 1865

-

4 guns

Destroyed to prevent capture, April 1862

280 ft

3 guns

Destroyed to prevent capture, June 1862

205 ft

-

Destroyed by accidental fire, September 1863

185 ft

4 guns

Surrendered to Union forces. May 1865

180 ft

6 guns

Destroyed to prevent capture, June 1862

180 ft

T guns

Sunk as blockship, June 1862

204 ft

7 guns

Destroyed to prevent capture, October 1863

90 ft

2 guns

Captured, July 1863; later used in Union Service (as USS Alexandria)

92 ft

2 guns

Captured, July 1863; later used in Union service (as USS Tensas)

Although numerous Union ocean-going gunboats were used to enforce the naval blockade of the Confederacy, several "90-day" gunboats served on the Mississippi during 1862. These illustrations show the lack of sophisticated shipbuilding facilities needed to produce gunboats during the war. Gunboats could be and were built in primitive riverside shipyards. (Private Collection)

Lancaster ran south past the city's defenses, to link up with the ocean-going fleet below the city. Her consort was sunk. She was patched up, and repeated the action at Grand Gulf. Mississippi. For the remainder of the war she operated on the lower Mississippi and the Red River.

PLATE B

CSS McRae

This beautiful Confederate screw gunboat began her career in the Mexican Navy as the Marqués de la Habana. Her crew rebelled, and after committing acts of piracy, they were captured by the USS Saratoga in 1860. She was still impounded in New Orleans when Louisiana seceded, and the Confederate Navy duly purchased her. She became the backbone of the official naval presence on the lower Mississippi River. During 1861 she escorted blockade-runners out through the Mississippi Delta, then when the Union fleet established a close blockade, she attacked them in concert with other Confederate gunboats in October. Her final action took place on April 24, 1862, when the Union fleet under Commodore Farragut attacked the naval and shore defenses below New Orleans. She engaged several enemy warships at the same time, but was badly damaged. Left to founder, she limped upriver to New Orleans behind the Union fleet, then sank alongside the city wharf. She carried one 9-inch smoothbore mounted on a 180-degree pivot behind her mainmast, and a broadside armament of six 32-pounder guns, plus a small 6-pounder rifle as a bow-chaser.

Css Stonewall

CSS Stonewall Jackson

One of a handful of wooden vessels that had been converted into warships, the Stonewall Jackson had her bow reinforced with wood and iron, creating a crude ram. Armed with a single 32-pounder smoothbore gun on her quarterdeck, the small sidewheel steamer had her engine rooms, boilers and superstructure reinforced by a bulwark of cotton bales, which extended from her holds up to above her upper deck, creating a protected bridge. In the battle of New Orleans she rammed and sank the USS Varuna, which had already been damaged by the Governor Moore, but then succumbed to the combined firepower of the Union fleet as it steamed past her. She was run aground in a sinking condition on the north bank of the river near New Orleans, and was then set on fire by her crew to prevent her capture.

PLATE C

The Governor Moore and the USS Varuna at the Battle of New Orleans, April 1862

In order to control the Mississippi River, the Union needed to control New Orleans. Its southern approaches were defended by the twin forts of Fort Jackson and Fort St Philip, and by a diverse collection of rams, gunboats, tugs, and

Walking Beam Steam Engine

The "walking beam engine" was the most common form of engine used on the paddleboats that plied the western rivers in peace and in war. Usually the structure extended several feet above the upper deck. This is an illustration from a treatise on steam engines, dated 1852. (Private Collection)

The "walking beam engine" was the most common form of engine used on the paddleboats that plied the western rivers in peace and in war. Usually the structure extended several feet above the upper deck. This is an illustration from a treatise on steam engines, dated 1852. (Private Collection)

ironclads. Before dawn on April 24, 1862, Commodore David G. Farragut led his ocean-going fleet against these defenses. Advancing in three divisions, the two leading groups were held up breaking through the line of obstructions in front of Fort Jackson, and the USS Brooklyn collided with the gunboat USS Kineo. In the confusion the Confederate ironclad ram CSS Manassas attacked the leading Union ships, creating more confusion. The wooden gunboat USS Varuna was now in the lead, followed at a distance by the rest of the fleet. The fleet of Confederate wooden rams launched an attack, but most were unable to close with the more powerful enemy warships. One exception was the Governor Moore, a wooden cottonclad ram in the service of the State of Louisiana. She shadowed the Varuna, and as the Union gunboat reached and passed the Quarantine Station, halfway between the forts and the city, the Governor Moore struck. She cut between the Varuna and the bank, then turned and rammed her amidships on her starboard side. As the two vessels were locked together, Captain Kennon of the Governor Moore found his bow gun was unable to fire on the enemy as the angle of fire was blocked by his own forecastle. He ordered the 32-pounder smoothbore to be fired down through his own deck, with the shot emerging through the bows of his gunboat to strike the Varuna. The first shot was deflected by the Governor Moore's hawsepipe, but the second hit her bow gun. Next, the Governor Moore backed away, then as the Varuna turned, she rammed her again, this time on her port beam. The Varuna was a wreck, and a blow from the ram Stonewall Jackson finished her off. By this time the rest of the Union fleet had come up to the battle scene, and the Governor Moore was ripped apart by shellfire. She sank with her Louisiana colors still flying. The plate depicts the scene when the Governor Moore fired her second shot.

PLATE D

USS Queen of the West

The USS Queen of the M/esf was purchased by the US War Department in Cincinnati. Ohio, in May 1862, and converted into a ram, under the guidance of Colonel Charles Ellet. She served as Ellet's flagship at the Battle of Memphis in June 1862, when she rammed the Confederate wooden ram Colonel Lovell. Rammed in her turn by the CSS General Sumter, she came under fire from Confederate sharpshooters, who mortally wounded Ellet. Following repairs, she participated in the expedition up the Yazoo River which led to a running battle with the Confederate ironclad CSS Arkansas. She survived, and took part in operations around Vicksburg and on the Yazoo River before joining a reconnaissance expedition up the Red River into Louisiana. She ran aground in front of a Confederate fortification called Fort de Russy, on February 14, 1863 and was abandoned. The Confederates duly captured her, and she served against her former masters, participating in the sinking of the powerful ironclad USS Indianota near New Carthage, Mississippi, on February 24. Three weeks later, during an engagement on the Atchafalaya River in Louisiana, she was hit by a shell from the USS Calhoun, a former Confederate gunboat. She caught fire, and her crew abandoned ship minutes before the wooden ram exploded.

PLATE E

CSS General Sterling Price

One of the Confederate River Defense Fleet, the CSS General Sterling Price was formerly the Laurent Millaudon, a Cincinnati river steamer. She was acquired and converted in New Orleans, becoming a "cottonclad" ram. This conversion involved the reinforcement of the bow with a wood and iron beam, the protection of the inside of her upperworks with a compressed "sandwich" of cotton and a wooden partition, and the addition of four 9-inch smoothbores. She fought at Fort Pillow and Memphis, Tennessee, and sank within sight of the city. She was duly raised by a Union salvage team, and she entered service as a Union river gunboat. Renamed the USS General Price, she operated around Vicksburg until the fall of the city in July 1863, apart from a brief foray up the Red River. Subsequently she took part in the attack on Grand Gulf, Mississippi, and the Red River Expedition in 1864.

CSS General Bragg

The largest vessel in the Confederate River Defense Fleet, the CSS General Bragg began her life as a ocean-going steamship before her conversion into a warship in early 1862. Like the General Sumter, her bulkheads were reinforced with compressed cotton, and her bows were fitted with a crude ram. Her principal weapon was a 30-pounder Parrott rifle, a rare gun in the Confederacy, although she also carried a 32-pounder smoothbore. She took part in the river battle of Plum Point (Fort Pillow) when she rammed the ironclad USS Cincinnati, causing her to sink, but the Confederate gunboat was badly damaged in the process. She was repaired in time to take part in the calamitous Battle of Memphis in June 1862, when she was beached on a sandbar in a sinking condition. The General Bragg was raised and entered service

Uss General Bragg

as a Union gunboat, patrolling the upper Mississippi for most of the remainder of the war.

PLATE F

The USS Tyler fighting the CSS Arkansas on the Yazoo River, July 1862

Like the Lexington and the Conestoga, the USS Tyler was one of the first Union gunboats to see service on the Mississippi River. Although small, she carried a powerful broadside armament of six 8-inch smoothbores, as well as a 32-pounder deck gun. By September 1862 she was rearmed with an additional three 30-pounder Parrott rifles. She participated in the capture of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, then supported General Grant's army at the Battle of Shiloh. By mid-1862 the Union River fleet and the ocean-going fleet had joined forces above Vicksburg, but rumors that the Confederates were building an ironclad on the Yazoo River caused some concern. The USS Tyler was duly sent to investigate, accompanied by the USS Queen of the Wesf and the casemate ironclad USS Carondolet. Soon after dawn on July 15, the three Union vessels had steamed several miles up the river when they spotted smoke coming from around a bend. The Tyler was well ahead of her consorts, and was the first to identify the oncoming vessel as the Confederate ironclad CSS Arkansas. Lieutenant William Gwin commanding the Tyler fired his guns, then spun around, heading back downstream. Soon the three Union vessels were fighting a running battle, and sharpshooters on the Tyler wounded the Arkansas' commander. Lieutenant Brown. Damage to the Carondolet forced the Union ironclad into the bank, and Brown closed and raked her, then brought his ironclad alongside and poured fire into the Union vessel at point blank range. Leaving her in a near-sinking condition, the Arkansas then backed away, intent on finishing off the two wooden gunboats. The Queen of the Wesf fled downriver toward the safety of the Union fleet. Lieutenant Gwin wanted to fight, but left alone, he had little choice but to flee himself. Pursued by the Arkansas, the Tyler kept 200 yards ahead, and hit the Confederate ironclad in her smokestack, reducing her speed and allowing the gunboat to speed to safety. The Arkansas went on to run through the Union fleet to reach the safety of Vicksburg. The plate depicts the moment when

Admiral David D. Porter commanded the Union river fleets on the Mississippi and her tributaries from his command ship, the USS Black Hawk. Although she was not really a warship, she did carry two 30-pounder rifles and two 32-pounder smoothbores for her own protection.

The USS 7y/er photographed at anchor during a "make and mend" Sunday, when the crew were allowed to wash or repair their uniforms. The powerful little gunboat was damaged during her engagement with the ironclad CSS Arkansas on the Yazoo River in July 1862.

the Arkansas began backing away from the wounded Carondolet. and the Tyler in the foreground was left alone to fight the victorious Confederate ironclad.

PLATE G

USS Black Hawk

One of the strongest gunboats on the Mississippi River, the USS Black Hawk was built in New Albany, Indiana, in 1848 as the luxury river steamer New Uncle Sam. In November 1862 she was purchased in Cairo, Illinois, for $36,000. and converted into a naval headquarters vessel for Admiral David D. Porter, the commander of the Union river forces on the Mississippi. She entered service in December 1862 when she joined the fleet above Vicksburg, and even though she was considered a tinclad warship, she still retained much of her former opulence. Palatial staircases, comfortable lounges and richly fitted state rooms gave the interior of the vessel the air of a luxury hotel, and Porter strictly enforced dress regulations and naval discipline. She also had teeth, carrying a bow armament of two 30-pounder Parrott rifles, as well as smoothbore guns. The floating headquarters was present at the capture of Fort Hindman on the Arkansas River in January 1863, the siege of Vicksburg during the summer of 1863, and the disastrous Red River campaign of 1864. She was destroyed by an accidental fire days after the end of the war, in April 1865.

USS Rattler

Formerly the Cincinnati-built river steamer Florence Miller. the USS Rattler was acquired by the US Navy in November 1862, and entered service five weeks later. She is included as a typical example of one of the small tinclad gunboats that served on the Mississippi and her tributaries from 1862 until the end of the war. A total of 71 such vessels served in the Union fleet during the war. most of them seeing extensive service. Powered by a stern paddlewheel, the Rattler was armed with two bow-mounted 30-pounder Parrott rifles and a 24-pounder smoothbore, while another three guns were carried inside her tinclad hull casemate on pivot mounts. The Rattler took part in the capture of Fort Hindman on the Arkansas River, then operated extensively in the river networks of Louisiana before she collided with an underwater obstruction and was wrecked near Grand Gulf. Mississippi, in December 1864.

Confederate Ironclad Images

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  • pupa
    What type armament did the css Gov. moore carry?
    7 years ago

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