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Caption: CSS Nashville (Side-wheel Steamer) in a contemporary sketch "by a naval officer"

(SwStr: t. 1,221; l. 215'6"; b. 34'6"; dph. 21'9"; cpl. 40; a. 2 12-pdr.; cl. Nashville)

CSS Nashville was a brig-rigged, passenger steamer, running between New York and Charleston, S.C. After the fall of Fort Sumter the Confederates seized her at Charleston and fitted her out as a cruiser. Under the command of Lt. R. B. Pegram, CSN, she braved the blockade on 21 October 1861 and headed across the Atlantic to Southampton, England, the first ship of war to fly the Confederate flag in English waters. Nashville returned to Beaufort, N.C., on 28 February 1862, having captured two prizes worth $66,000 during the cruise. In this interval she was sold for use as a blockade runner and renamed Thomas L. Wragg.

On 5 November 1862 she was commissioned as the privateer Rattlesnake [See Annex I]. Union forces destroyed her in the Ogeechee River, Ga., 28 February 1863.


(Ire Ram: l. 271'; b. 62'6"; dph. 13'; dr. 10'9"; a. 3 7" r., 1 24-pdr.)

CSS Nashville was a large side-wheel steam sloop built by the Confederates at Montgomery, Ala., in 1864 and taken to Mobile for completion. Her first commander was Lit. C. C. Simms, CSN.

Still fitting out, she took no part in the battle of Mobile Bay on 5 August 1864, but was one of the vessels formally surrendered by Commodore E. Farrand, CSN, at Nanna Hubba, Ala., on 10 May 1865.

Although never finished, she had been heavily armored with triple 2-inch plating forward and around her pilot house, only a single thickness aft and there had been some doubts expressed that her builders might have overestimated her structural strength. Rear Adm. H. K. Thatcher, USN, wrote on 30 June 1865, after survey, "She was hogged when surrendered and is not strong enough to bear the weight of her full armor." He was certain "she could not live in a seaway."

Nashville was purchased by the Navy Department and sold at New Orleans, La., on 22 November 1867, her iron sheathing having been removed for naval use.

Published: Wed Apr 02 10:16:56 EDT 2014