CSS Rappahannock

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CSSRappahannock.jpg
CSS Rappahannock
History
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svgUnited Kingdom
Name:Victor
Ordered: 15 May 1855 [1]
Builder: Money Wigram & Son, Blackwall
Cost: £45,450 [1]
Laid down: 24 May 1855 [1]
Launched: 2 November 1855 [1]
Commissioned: 1 April 1856
Fate: Sold to R. Gordon Coleman as Scylla in November 1863 and resold later the same month to the Confederacy
Naval ensign of the Confederate States of America (1863-1865).svgConfederate States
Name: CSS Rappahannock
Commissioned: November 1864
Decommissioned: April 1865
Fate: Turned over to United States
General characteristics
Class and type: Intrepid-class gunvessel
Displacement: 868 49/94 bm [1]
Length: 200 ft (61 m) pp [1]
Beam: 30 ft 4 in (9.25 m) [1]
Depth of hold: 14 ft 6 in (4.42 m) [1]
Installed power: 1,166  ihp (869 kW) [1]
Propulsion:
  • 2-cylinder horizontal single-expansion steam engine [1]
  • Single screw
Sail plan: Barque
Speed: 11.6 knots (21.5 km/h) [1]
Complement: 100
Armament:

CSSRappahannock, a steam sloop-of-war, was built at the Blackwall Yard on the River Thames by Money Wigram & Son in 1855 as an Intrepid-class gunvessel for the Royal Navy and named HMS Victor. Although a handsomely modeled vessel, numerous defects occasioned her sale in 1863. An agent of the Confederate States Government purchased her ostensibly for the China trade, but British authorities suspected she was destined to be a Confederate commerce raider and ordered her detention. Nevertheless, she succeeded in escaping from Sheerness, England, on November 24, with workmen still on board and only a token crew. Her Confederate States Navy officers joined in the English Channel.

When he bought her from the Admiralty through his secret agent on November 14, Commander Matthew F. Maury had intended Rappahannock to replace the cruiser CSS Georgia and was about to transfer Georgia's guns to her. She was ideal for a cruiser wooden-hulled and bark-rigged with two engines and a lifting screw propeller.

The Confederate Screw-Steamer Rappahannock lying at Calais Pier, 1863 The Confederate Screw-Steamer Rappahannock lying at Calais Pier - ILN 1863.jpg
The Confederate Screw-Steamer Rappahannock lying at Calais Pier, 1863

She was commissioned a Confederate man-of-war underway, but while passing out of the Thames Estuary her bearings burned out and she had to be taken across to Calais for repairs. There Lieutenant C. M. Fauntleroy, CSN, was placed in command. Detained on various pretexts by the French Government, Rappahannock never got to sea and was turned over to the United States at the close of the war.

Related Research Articles

Confederate States Navy

The Confederate States Navy (CSN) was the naval branch of the Confederate States Armed Forces, established by an act of the Confederate States Congress on February 21, 1861. It was responsible for Confederate naval operations during the American Civil War against the United States's Union Navy.

USS <i>Hatteras</i> (1861)

The very first USS Hatteras was a 1,126-ton iron-hulled steamer purchased by the Union Navy at the beginning of the American Civil War. She was outfitted as a gunboat and assigned to the Union blockade of the ports and waterways of the Confederate States of America. During an engagement with the disguised Confederate commerce raider, CSS Alabama, she was taken by surprise and was sunk off the coast of Galveston, Texas. The wreck site is one of the few listed on the National Register of Historic Places because of its location away from destructive surf and because of the ship's side-wheel design, which marks the transition between wooden sailing ships and steam-powered ships.

CSS <i>Alabama</i>

CSS Alabama was a screw sloop-of-war built in 1862 for the Confederate States Navy at Birkenhead on the River Mersey opposite Liverpool, England by John Laird Sons and Company. Alabama served as a successful commerce raider, attacking Union merchant and naval ships over the course of her two-year career, during which she never docked at a Southern port. She was sunk in June 1864 by USS Kearsarge at the Battle of Cherbourg outside the port of Cherbourg, France.

Japanese ironclad <i>Kōtetsu</i>

Kōtetsu, later renamed Azuma, was the first ironclad warship of the Imperial Japanese Navy. She was designed as an armored ram for service in shallow waters, but also carried three guns. The ship was built in Bordeaux, France, for the Confederate States Navy under the cover name Sphinx, but was sold to Denmark after sales of warships by French builders to the Confederacy was forbidden in 1863. The Danes refused to accept the ship and sold her to the Confederates which commissioned her as CSS Stonewall in 1865. The ship did not reach Confederate waters before the end of the American Civil War in April and was turned over to the United States.

CSS <i>Tennessee</i> (1863)

CSS Tennessee was a casemate ironclad ram built for the Confederate Navy during the American Civil War. She served as the flagship of Admiral Franklin Buchanan, commander of the Mobile Squadron, after her commissioning. She was captured in 1864 by the Union Navy during the Battle of Mobile Bay and then participated in the Union's subsequent Siege of Fort Morgan. Tennessee was decommissioned after the war and sold in 1867 for scrap.

CSS <i>Shenandoah</i>

CSS Shenandoah, formerly Sea King, later El Majidi, was an iron-framed, teak-planked, full-rigged sailing ship with auxiliary steam power chiefly known for her actions under Lieutenant Commander James Waddell as part of the Confederate States Navy during the American Civil War.

CSS <i>Georgia</i> (steamship)

CSSGeorgia was a screw steamer of the Confederate States Navy, acquired in 1863, and captured by the Union Navy in 1864.

CSS <i>Selma</i> (1856)

CSSSelma was a steamship in the Confederate States Navy during the American Civil War. She served in the Confederate Navy first as Florida, and later as Selma. She was captured by the Union Navy steamer USS Metacomet during the Battle of Mobile Bay. She served as USS Selma until the end of the war, when she was decommissioned and sold for use as a merchant ship.

USS <i>Augusta</i> (1853)

The second USS Augusta was a side-wheel steamer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War. She was named for the city of Augusta, Georgia.

John Ancrum Winslow

John Ancrum Winslow was an officer in the United States Navy during the Mexican–American War and the American Civil War. He was in command of the steam sloop of war USS Kearsarge during her historic 1864 action off Cherbourg, France with the Confederate sea raider CSS Alabama.

CSS <i>Sumter</i>

CSS Sumter, converted from the 1859-built merchant steamer Habana, was the first steam cruiser in the Confederate States Navy. She operated against American shipping between July and December 1861, taking 18 prizes, but was trapped in Gibraltar by Union warships. Decommissioned, she was sold and reverted to merchant service as Gibraltar. She successfully ran the Union blockade in 1863 and survived the war.

USS <i>San Jacinto</i> (1850) Screw frigate in the US Navy famous for her role in the Trent Affair of 1861

The first USS San Jacinto was an early screw frigate in the United States Navy during the mid-19th century. She was named for the San Jacinto River, site of the Battle of San Jacinto during the Texas Revolution. She is perhaps best known for her role in the Trent Affair of 1861.

CSS <i>Lady Davis</i>

CSSLady Davis was a gunboat in the Confederate States Navy during the American Civil War.

Irvine Bulloch

Irvine Stephens Bulloch was an officer in the Confederate Navy and the youngest officer on the famed warship CSS Alabama. He fired its last shot before it was sunk off the coast of France at the end of the American Civil War. He was a half-brother of James Dunwoody Bulloch, who served as a foreign agent in Great Britain on behalf of the Confederacy, in part to arrange blockade runners.

CSS <i>Chattahoochee</i> Confederate States Navy gunboat


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.

CSS <i>Tallahassee</i>

The CSS Tallahassee was a twin-screw steamer and cruiser in the Confederate States Navy, purchased in 1864, and used for commerce raiding off the Atlantic coast. She later operated under the names CSS Olustee and CSS Chameleon.

The first USS Adirondack was a large and powerful screw-assisted sloop of war with heavy guns, contracted by the Union Navy early in the American Civil War. She was intended for use by the Union Navy as a warship in support of the Union Navy blockade of Confederate waterways. Her career with the Navy proved to be short, yet active and historically important. USS Adirondack was one of four sister ships which included the Housatonic, Ossipee and Juniata.

Blockade runners of the American Civil War

The blockade runners of the American Civil War were seagoing steam ships that were used to get through the Union blockade that extended some 3,500 miles (5,600 km) along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastlines and the lower Mississippi River. The Confederate states were largely without industrial capability and could not provide the quantity of arms and other supplies needed to fight against the industrial north. Blockade runners built in Scotland and England met this need and imported the guns, ordnance and other supplies that the Confederacy desperately needed, in exchange for cotton that the British textile industry likewise was in desperate need of. To get through the blockade, these relatively lightweight shallow draft ships, mostly built in British ship yards and specially designed for speed, had to cruise undetected, usually at night, through the Union blockade. The typical blockade runners were privately owned vessels often operating with a letter of marque issued by the Confederate States of America. If spotted, the blockade runners would attempt to outmaneuver or simply outrun any Union ships on blockade patrol, very often successfully.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Winfield, R.; Lyon, D. (2004). The Sail and Steam Navy List: All the Ships of the Royal Navy 1815–1889 . London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN   978-1-86176-032-6.

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