Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Cotton Plant
(StwStr: t. 85; l. 107'; b. 18.9'; dr. 4.5')

(SwStr: t. 59)

Cotton Plant, built at Rochester, Pa., in 1859, was used by the Confederate Army as a transport and supply boat in the Tallahatchie and Yazoo Rivers during 1862-63. During the expedition of the Union Mississippi Squadron into the Yazoo, and consequent destruction of the fleet and Navy Yard at Yazoo City there in May 1863, Cotton Plant was one of four that escaped into the Tallahatchie. Two months later she was ordered burned by the Confederate Army command to prevent capture.


Cotton Plant, sometimes referred to as Cotton Planter, was built at Philadelphia, Pa., in 1860 and reportedly carried troops in the Pamlico River as early as September 1861. She sailed with CSS Albemarle when that ironclad ram attacked Union forces at Plymouth, N.C., sank Southfield and drove off Miami, Ceres and White-head 18-19 April 1864. On 5 May 1864 she steamed as convoy to Albemarle from the Roanoke River en route to Alligator River. The convoy was engaged by ships of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron but both the ram and Cotton Plant with several launches in tow escaped into the Roanoke River.

In May 1865 Cotton Plant was surrendered to Union officials near Halifax, N.C., by parties claiming that she had been appropriated by Confederate authorities. Ownership was adjudicated at Plymouth and she was turned over to the U.S. Treasury purchasing agent to transport cotton and provisions. She was later delivered to the U.S. Navy at Norfolk.