CSS Fredericksburg

CSS Fredericksburg

Confederate Ironclad

Laid down: 1862
Launched: 1863
Commissioned: March 1864
Fate: Destroyed to prevent capture, 4 April 1865

General Characteristics
Area of Operation: James River Squadron
Length: 188 feet (57 m)
Beam: 40 feet 3 inches (12.27 m)
Draft: 9 feet 6 inches (2.90 m)
Propulsion: Steam engine
Speed: 5 knots (9.3 km/h)
Complement: 150 officers and men
1 × 11 in (280 mm) smoothbore cannon
1 × 8 in (200 mm) rifled cannon
2 × 6.4 in (160 mm) rifled cannons


Fredericksburg was built at Richmond, Virginia in 1862-63. The CSS Fredericksburg was the second ironclad to be completed in Richmond. On November 30, 1863 she was reported completed and awaiting armament. In March 1864 she was taken down to Drewry’s Bluff to be fitted out, and placed in command of Commander Thomas R. Rootes, CSN.

Fredericksburg, one of the ships of the James River Squadron commanded by Commodore John K. Mitchell, CSN, was actively engaged in the James River from mid-1864 until the end of the war. Accompanied by the CSS Virginia II, she participated in an engagement with the Union ship USS Onondaga at Trent’s Reach on June 21, 1864, but little damage was inflicted on either side due to the distance between them. Similar inconclusive encounters took place in August, October, December, and the following January. With the evacuation of Richmond on April 3, 1865, the Confederates blew up Fredericksburg and other ships in the vicinity the following day. The Confederate Fleet was found in the James River. Her remains lie about fifty yards up river from her sister ship. The ship lies parallel with the river under the mud, which might be between six to fifteen feet deep.

List of Commanders/Crew
Commodore John K. Mitchell, CSN

Painting Information

Books/Articles and other resources

Back to Confederate Ironclads


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