Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
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Appomattox

(Tug: a. 2 guns)

Appomattox, as Empire, was bought at Norfolk in 1861, converted to a gunboat, and assigned to the waters along the North Carolina coast, under the command of Lt. C. C. Simms, CSN. Appomattox helped to obstruct channels in the Hatteras area by towing block-ships to strategic points for sinking. Immediately afterward, she fought valiantly during the battles of Roanoke Island on 7-8 February 1862 and Elizabeth City, N.C., 2 days later. Following the rout of the Confederate fleet in the Pasquotank River on 10 February 1862, Appomattox tried to escape but her beam was 2 inches too great to let her into the lock and so prevented passage through the Dismal Swamp Canal. Accordingly Lieutenant Simms set her on fire and she blew up. [See Empire, infra.]