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CSS Charleston
Name: CSS Charleston
Namesake: Charleston, South Carolina
Ordered: Fall 1862
Laid down: December 1862
Launched: 1863
Commissioned: September 1863
Nickname: Ladies' Gunboat
Fate: Destroyed by fire to avoid capture, 1865
General characteristics
Type: Casemate ironclad
Length: 189 ft (57.6 m)
Beam: 34 ft (10 m)
Draft: 14 ft (4.3 m)
Speed: 6 knots (11 km/h; 6.9 mph)
Complement: 150 officers and men

CSS Charleston was an ironclad ram built for the Confederate Navy during the American Civil War. Construction at Charleston, South Carolina was authorized in fall 1862 and the ship was laid down in December 1862, entering service nine months later. The Charleston served as the Charleston Squadron's flagship alongside CSS Palmetto State and CSS Chicora during the defense of that city. Captained by Cdr. Isaac N. Brown. Set on fire and abandoned in Charleston harbor on 18 February 1865 to prevent capture, along with her sister ships, as the city was evacuated by the Confederates.[1]

Charleston was underpowered with unreliable engines.


  1. "Siege of Charleston Expedition". National Underwater and Marine Agency. Archived from the original on September 16, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 


  • Olmstead, Edwin; Stark, Wayne E.; Tucker, Spencer C. (1997). The Big Guns: Civil War Siege, Seacoast, and Naval Cannon. Alexandria Bay, New York: Museum Restoration Service. ISBN 0-88855-012-X. 
  • Scharf, J. Thomas (1977). History of the Confederate States Navy: From its Organization to the Surrender of its Last Vessel. New York: Fairfax Press. ISBN 0-517-23913-2. OCLC 4361326. 
  • Silverstone, Paul H. (2006). Civil War Navies 1855–1883. The U.S. Navy Warship Series. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-97870-X. 
  • Still, William N., Jr. (1985). Iron Afloat: The Story of the Confederate Armorclads (Reprint of the 1971 ed.). Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 0-87249-454-3. 

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Coordinates: 32°47′29″N 79°55′21″W / 32.79139°N 79.9225°W / 32.79139; -79.9225