(SwRam: cpl. 40; a. 2 32-pdr. r., 1 32-pdr sb.)
Resolute, a side-wheel gunboat ram, had been a tugboat on the Mississippi River before she was acquired by the Confederate Government. Capt. J. E. Montgomery selected her to be part of his River Defense Fleet [See Annex II]. On 25 January 1862 Montgomery began to convert her into a cottonclad ram by placing a 4-inch oak sheath with a 1-inch iron covering on her bow, and by installing double pine bulkheads filled with compressed cotton bales.
Resolute's conversion was completed on 31 March 1862. Under Capt. I. Hooper, she was detached from Montgomery's main force and sent to Forts Jackson and St. Philip on the lower Mississippi to cooperate in the Confederate defense of New Orleans. There, with five other vessels of Montgomery's fleet, all under Capt. J. A. Stevenson, she joined the force under Capt. J. K. Mitchell, CSN, commanding Confederate naval forces in the lower Mississippi.
On 24 April 1862 a Union fleet under Flag Officer D. G. Farragut, USN, ran past Forts Jackson and St. Philip on its way to capture New Orleans. Resolute was run ashore a mile above Fort Jackson by her crew who raised a white flag and then abandoned her. A party of 10 men under Lieutenant T. Arnold, CSN, sent from CSS McRae, boarded her, hauled down her white flag, and manned her guns. Later, while attempting to get her afloat, Resolute was attacked by long range Union fire and was pierced by several rifle shot, some below her water line. Resolute's damage could not be repaired quickly, and since another Union attack was expected, and since she lay dangerously exposed to land and sea, the Confederates burned her on 26 April 1862 to keep her from falling into Union hands.
(SwStr: t. 322; cpl. 35; a. none)
CSS Resolute was a tugboat built in 1858 at Savannah, Ga. She entered Confederate service in 1861 and operated as a tow boat, transport, receiving ship, and tender to the sidewheeler CSS Savannah on the coastal and inland waters of Georgia and South Carolina.
On 5-6 November 1861, Resolute, under Lt. J. P. Jones, CSN, in company with Lady Davis, Sampson and Savannah, under the overall command of Flag Officer J. Tattnall, CSN, offered harassing resistance to a much larger Union fleet preparing to attack Confederate strongholds at Port Royal Sound, S.C.
On 7 November 1861, while Resolute had been sent to Savannah with dispatches, the Union fleet under Flag Officer S. F. Du Pont, USN, pounded the Confederate Forts Walker and Beauregard until they were abandoned. Upon her return, Resolute helped evacuate the garrison of Fort Walker and then returned to spike the Confederate guns at Pope's Landing on Hilton Head Island.
On 26 November 1861, Resolute, in company with Sampson and Savannah, under Flag Officer Tattnall, weighed anchor from under the guns of Fort Pulaski, S.C., and made a brief attack on Union vessels at the mouth of the Savannah River. On 28 January 1862, accompanied by Sampson and Savannah, she delivered supplies to the fort despite the spirited opposition of Federal ships.
On 12 December 1864 while on an expedition with the gunboats Macon and Sampson, under Flag Officer W. W. Hunter, CSN, to destroy the Charleston and Savannah Railway bridge spanning the Savannah River, Resolute received heavy fire from a Union field battery. Although hit twice she was not seriously damaged until she was disabled by colliding with the two gunboats during their retreat. Although the gunboats escaped, Resolute ran aground on Argyle Island on the Savannah River. She was captured on the same day by Union soldiers under Col. W. Hawly, USA, of General Sherman's forces, and taken into Federal service.