CSS Mississippi I

CSS Mississippi I

Namesake: Mississippi (state)
Builder: Nelson and Asa F. Tift
Laid down: 14 October 1861
Launched: 24 April 1862
Fate: Burned to avoid capture, 25 April 1862

General Characteristics
Displacement: 1400 tons
Length: 250 feet (79.2 meters)
Beam: 58 feet (17.7 meters)
Draft: 15 feet (4.6 meters)
Propulsion: steam, 3 screws
Armor: 4.5 inches (115 millimeters) iron

CSS Mississippi was a projected ironclad warship of the Confederate States Navy, intended to be used on the Mississippi River in the vicinity of New Orleans during the American Civil War. Her design was unusual, as she was built according to house-building techniques. Whether this would have proved to be feasible cannot be known, as she was not complete when New Orleans fell to the Union Fleet under Flag Officer David G. Farragut on 25 April 1862. Rather than let her fall into enemy hands, Captain Arthur Sinclair, CSN, ordered her to be hastily launched and burned.[1] Despite the delays in construction that left her unfinished and untried, her mere existence, together with that of CSS Louisiana, raised thwarted hopes in the defenders of New Orleans, and unfounded fears in Union circles, that affected the strategy of both sides in the campaign on the lower Mississippi. Mississippi is significant to the Civil War therefore not so much as a warship as in the way her reputation influenced events, and as an example of the difficulties the South had in the contest with the industrial North.

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