Ship's engines and lower portion of the after hull, photographed following recovery in the vicinity of Columbus, Georgia, circa the early or middle 1960s
|Laid down:||Saffold, Georgia|
|In service:||February 1863|
|Fate:||Scuttled 17 April 1865|
|Length:||150 ft (46 m)|
|Beam:||25 ft (7.6 m)|
|Draft:||8 ft (2.4 m)|
|Speed:||12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)|
|Complement:||120 officers and crew|
|Armament:||4 32-pounder smoothbore cannon, a 32-pounder rifled cannon and a 9-inch smoothbore cannon|
CSS Muscogee and Chattahoochee
|NRHP reference #||70000212|
|Added to NRHP||May 13, 1970|
CSS Chattahoochee was a twin-screw steam powered gunboat built at Saffold, Georgia; she was christened for the river upon which she was built. The gunboat entered Confederate States Navy service in February 1863.
Chattahoochee was plagued by machinery failures, one of which, a boiler explosion on 27 May 1863, killed 18 as she preparing to sail from her anchorage at Blountstown, Florida. Once there, Chattahoochee's crew were going to attempt to retake the Confederate schooner CSS Fashion, captured by the Union Navy. On 10 June 1864 she was towed to Columbus, Georgia for general repairs and the installation of engines and a boiler reclaimed from the fatally wrecked ironclad CSS Raleigh.
While she was undergoing those repairs at Columbus, 11 of her officers and 50 of her crew tried unsuccessfully to capture the Union ship Adela blockading Apalachicola, Florida. USS Somerset drove off the raiders, capturing much of their equipment.
When the Confederates abandoned the Apalachicola River in December 1864, Chattahoochee was moved up the Chattahoochee River; she was scuttled near Columbus on 17 April 1865 to avoid capture, just as Union troops approached the city.
Chattahooche lay underwater until 1963, when her sunken remains were found within the boundaries of Fort Benning. They later were raised and a portion of her hull and her original steam engines once more returned to her home in Columbus, where they were placed on display at the National Civil War Naval Museum. Because she was scuttled and lay submerged for a century, Chattahoochee is the only Confederate Navy gunboat that survived to the modern era.
Officers and crew
- Lt. Catesby ap Roger Jones, commander (late July 1862 - February 4, 1863)
- Lt. John Julius Guthrie, commander (February 4, 1863 - March 1864)
- Lt. George Washington Gift, commander (March 1864 - July 1864)
- ?, commander (July 1864 - December 1864)
Personnel killed May 1863
Those killed in the explosion (with those who later died of their wounds) were:
- Fred W. Arents, Third Assistant Engineer, of Richmond, Virginia
- Charles H. Berry, Quartermaster, of Tampa, Florida
- William B. Bilbro, Pilot, of Columbus, Georgia
- Edward Conn, Coal Heaver, of Apalachicola, Florida
- Charles Douglas, Second Class Fireman
- Henry Fagan, Second Assistant Engineer, of Key West, Florida
- Manassa Faircloth, Landsman, of Hardaway, Florida
- Eugene Henderson, Paymaster's Clerk, of Tuskegee, Alabama
- Joseph Hicks, First Class Fireman, of Georgia
- Euclid P. Hodges, Third Assistant Engineer, of Maryland
- John Joliff, Seaman
- James H. Jones, Landsman, of Florida
- Enoch C. Lanpher, Second Class Fireman, of Columbus, Georgia
- Charles K. Mallory, Midshipman, of Virginia
- William Moore, Landsman, of Florida
- John S. Spear, Landsman, of Florida
- James Thomas, Landsman, of Florida
- Lewis C. Wild, Landsman, of Florida
Several other members of the crew were wounded:
- "Poor Mallory! I shall never forget his appearance. I would not have known him had he not spoken. His face, hands, and feet were scalded in the most terrible manner; he plead [sic] piteously to have his wounds attended to. I urged the doctor, who, by the way, was almost used up himself, to pay Mallory some attention. He then told me that he would have to wait for some assistance. He then said that Mallory could not live. You would have thought differently had you seen him. I could not make up my mind that he would die. When they first commenced to remove the cloths he was talking cheerfully, but the nervous system could not stand the shock. He commenced sinking and was a corpse before they had gotten half through. Duffy, the fireman, expired on the next day."
Notes and references
- HNSA Web Page: USS Chattahoochee
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
- "An Investigation of the Remains of the Confederate Gunboat CSS Chattahoochee, East Carolina University's Program in Maritime History and Underwater Research