CSS Webb

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An engraving of the burning of the CSS Webb is one of the few known images of the vessel
Confederate States
Name: Webb
Namesake: William Henry Webb
Builder: William Henry Webb, New York City[1]
Launched: 1856
Acquired: May 1861
Commissioned: 1865
Fate: Burned to avoid capture, April 1865
General characteristics
Type: Side-wheel River Steamer
Displacement: 655 tons

CSS Webb, a 655-ton side-wheel steam ram, was originally built in New York City in 1856 as the civilian steamship William H. Webb. She received a Confederate privateer's commission at New Orleans in May 1861, but was instead employed as a transport until January 1862. Converted to a "cotton clad" ram by the Confederate Army, thereafter served on the Mississippi and Red Rivers. On February 24, 1863, under the command of Captain Charles Pierce, she participated in the sinking of the Federal ironclad USS Indianola. Webb was transferred to the Confederate Navy in early 1865.[2][3]

On April 23–24, 1865, under the command of Charles S. Read, Webb broke through the Federal blockade at the mouth of the Red River, Louisiana, and made a dramatic run down the Mississippi toward the Gulf of Mexico. After eluding several United States Navy vessels and passing New Orleans, she was confronted by the powerful steam sloop USS Richmond. Rather than face the veteran ship's broadside, the Webb was run ashore and destroyed by her crew.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gaines, W. Craig. Encyclopedia of Civil War shipwrecks. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-8071-3274-6, p.75
  2. ^ Scharf, 1886, pp. 357-358
  3. ^ Stern, 1962, p. 133
  4. ^ Stern, 1962, pp. 140-141


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.