Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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  • Ship History
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Scorpion
(StTB: l. 46'; b. 6'3"; dph. 3'9"; a. 1 5"-dia., 18' spar with percussion torp.; cl. Squib)

CSS Scorpion was procured late in 1864 by the Confederate States Navy and armed with a spar torpedo fitted to her stem. She performed picket duty in the James River under command of Lt. E. Lakin, CSN.

On 23-25 January 1865 torpedo boats Scorpion, Hornet and Wasp, under overall command of Lt. C. W. Read, CSN, joined Flag Officer J. K. Mitchell's James River Squadron in the abortive attack on General Grant's main supply base at City Point, Va. Attempting to rejoin her consort, ironclad Richmond, aground above Trent's Reach, Scorpion ended up fast ashore also and was severely damaged by the magazine explosion which destroyed nearby gunboat CSS Drewry, 24 January. Abandoned, she fell into Federal hands.