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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
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Savannah

 

(SwStr: t. 406; a. 1 32-pdr.)

 

Savannah, later called Old Savannah, was formerly the steamer Everglade built in 1856 at New York, N.Y. She was purchased early in 1861 by the State of Georgia and converted into a gunboat for coast defense. With Georgia's admission to the Confederacy, Savannah, under Lt. J. N. Maffitt, CSN, was commissioned by the Confederate States Navy. She was attached to the squadron of Flag Officer J. Tattnall, CSN, charged with the naval defense of South Carolina and Georgia.

 

On 5-6 November, Savannah, flying Tattnall's flag, in company with Resolute, Sampson, and Lady Davis, offered harassing resistance to a much larger Union fleet, under Flag Officer S. F. Du Pont, USN, preparing to attack Confederate strongholds at Port Royal Sound, S.C. On 7 November Savannah fired on the heavy Union ships as they bombarded Forts Walker and Beauregard. Driven finally by the Federal gunboats into Skull Creek, Ga., Tattnall disembarked with a landing party in an abortive attempt to support the fort's garrison, and Savannah returned to Savannah to repair damages.

 

On 26 November 1861, Savannah, in company with Resolute and Sampson, all under Flag Officer Tattnall, weighed anchor from under the guns of Fort Pulaski, S.C., and made a brave but brief attack on Union vessels at the mouth of the Savannah River. On 28 January 1862 the same three vessels delivered supplies to the fort despite the spirited opposition of Federal ships. Savannah later assisted in the unsuccessful defense of Fort Pulaski on 10-11 April 1862, and for the remainder of the year served as a receiving ship at Savannah.

 

Her name was changed to Oconee on 28 April 1863 and in June she was loaded with cotton and dispatched to England to pay for much-needed supplies. After some delay she escaped to sea only to founder on 18 August during bad weather. A boat with four officers and 11 men was captured 2 days later; the remainder of her crew escaped.

 

(IrcRam: l. 150' bp,; b. 34'; dph. 14'; s. 7 k.; dr. 12'6"; s. 6 k.; cpl. 180; a. 2 7" r., 2 6.4" r.; type Richmond)

 

CSS Savannah was an ironclad steam sloop built by H. F. Willink for the Confederacy at Savannah, Ga., in 1863. On 30 June 1863 she was transferred to naval forces in the Savannah River under the command of Flag Officer W. W. Hunter, CSN. Under Comdr. R. F. Pinkney, CSN, she maintained her reputation as the most efficient vessel of the squadron and was kept ready for service. She remained on the river and was burned by the Confederates on 21 December 1864 when Savannah, Ga., was threatened by the approach of Gen. W. T. Sherman, USA.