CSS Nashville


CSS Nashville


Career
Laid down: September 1862
Launched: mid-1863
Commissioned: September 15, 1864
Decommissioned: May 10, 1865
Fate: Surrendered to U.S. forces; sold November 22, 1867

General Characteristics
Displacement: approximately 1100 tons
Length: 271 ft (83 m)
Beam: 62 ft 6 in (19.05 m)
Draft: 10 ft 9 in (3.28 m)
Propulsion: Steam engine
Speed: unknown
Complement: unknown
Armament:
3 × 7 in (180 mm) Brooke rifles
1 × 24-pounder howitzer

CSS Nashville was a large side-wheel steam ironclad built by the Confederates at Montgomery, Alabama intended to exploit the availability of riverboat engines. Launched in mid-1863, Nashville was taken to Mobile, Alabama for completion in 1864. Part of her armor came from the CSS Baltic. Her first commander was Lieutenant Charles Carroll Simms, CSN.

Still fitting out, she took no part in the Battle of Mobile Bay on August 5, 1864. She helped fend off attacks on Spanish Fort, Alabama on 27 March 1865, supported Confederate commander Randall L. Gibson until driven away by Federal batteries, and shelled Federal troops near Fort Blakely on 2 April 1865. The ships retreated up the Tombigbee River on 12 April 1865 when Mobile surrendered. She was one of the vessels formally surrendered by Commodore Ebenezer Farrand, CSN, at Nanna Hubba, Alabama on May 10, 1865.

Although never quite finished, she had been heavily armored with triple 2-inch plating forward and around her pilot house, only a single thickness aft and there had been some doubts expressed that her builders might have overestimated her structural strength. Rear Admiral Henry K. Thatcher, USN, wrote on June 30, 1865, after survey, “She was hogged when surrendered and is not strong enough to bear the weight of her full armor.” He was certain “she could not live in a seaway.”

Nashville was purchased by the Navy Department and sold to breakers at New Orleans, Louisiana on November 22, 1867, her iron sheathing having been removed for naval use.

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