Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Morgan
(SwGbt: t. 863; l. 202'; b. 38'; dph. 13'; dr. 7'2"; s. 10 k.; a. 10 guns when outfitted, 6 guns when surrendered; cl. Morgan)

(Sch: a. 3 guns)

CSS Morgan, originally United States Revenue Cutter Morgan, was seized by the Confederates in 1861. She was listed as one of the ships of Flag Officer G. M. Hollins' squadron in the lower Mississippi River in November 1861.

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CSS Morgan was a partially armored gunboat built at Mobile, Ala., in 1861-62. She operated in the waters around Mobile from the time of her completion early in 1862 to the close of hostilities. One reference of October 1862 gave her name as Admiral.

Morgan, Comdr. G. W. Harrison, CSN, took an active part in the battle of Mobile Bay on 5 August 1864. Situated well to the right of the Confederate line of battle as the enemy proceeded up the channel she was able to deliver a telling broadside raking fire against USS Hartford and others. Toward the end of the engagement she was pursued by USS Metacomet but succeeded in driving her off. Morgan, attempting to avoid capture, then turned toward shallow water, grounded briefly, but continued on her perilous route and reached the guns at Fort Morgan. She dispatched a boat which effected thedestruction of a Union gunboat Philippi below the fort. Captain Harrison then saved Morgan by boldly running the gauntlet up to Mobile. Although hotly pursued and shelled by cruisers for a large part of the 25-mile starlight voyage, she reached the outer obstructions near Mobile at daybreak and that afternoon was permitted to pass through.

Morgan continued to serve in the Mobile area. In April 1865 she participated in the battle near Blakely, Ga., sustaining considerable damage. On 4 May 1865 Commodore E. Farrand, commanding Confederate Naval Forces in the State of Alabama, ordered the surrender of Morgan to the United States Navy. She was sold the following December.