Confederate Navy Steam Cruiser
American Civil War
CSS Sumter (1861-1862)
CSS Sumter , a 437-ton bark-rigged screw steam cruiser, was built at Philadelphia as the merchant steamship Habana . Purchased by the Confederate Government at New Orleans in April 1861, she was converted to a cruiser and placed under the command of Raphael Semmes . Renamed Sumter , she was commissioned in early June 1861 and broke through the Federal blockade of the Mississippi river mouths late in the month.
Early in July, the pioneering Confederate Navy commerce raider captured eight U.S. flag merchant ships in waters near Cuba, then moved to the South American coast where she took another pair. Two more merchantman fell to Sumter in September and October 1861. While coaling at Martinique in mid-November, she was blockaded by the Federal sloop of war Iroquois , but was able to escape to sea and resume her activities. Sumter captured another six ships from late November into January 1862, while cruising from the western hemisphere to European waters.
Sumter then took refuge at Gibraltar. Unable to obtain needed repairs, she was laid up in April and remained inactive, watched through the year by a succession of U.S. Navy warships, among them the sloop of war Kearsarge and gunboat Chippewa . Semmes and many of her officers were reemployed in the new cruiser Alabama . CSS Sumter was sold to private owners in December 1862. Renamed Gibraltar , she worked as a blockade runner in 1863. The ship was reportedly lost in an English Channel storm in about 1867.
"The Confederate cruiser 'Sumter', Captain Semmes, leaving New Orleans, June 18, 1861."
Line engraving by Evans, "from a sketch made at the time",
"The Confederate privateer steamer Sumter, taking in coal at the Dutch island of Curacoa, in the Caribbean Sea."
Line engraving "from a photograph by S.J. Nathans", published in "Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper", 24 August 1861.
Confederate Ironclad vs Union Ironclad: Hampton Roads 1862
The Ironclad was a revolutionary weapon of war. Although iron was used for protection in the Far East during the 16th century, it was the 19th century and the American Civil War that heralded the first modern armored self-propelled warships.
Confederate Ironclad 1861-65
Every aspect of Confederate ironclads is covered: design, construction, armor, armament, life on board, strategy, tactics, and actual combat actions.
Sid Meier's Civil War Collection
Take command of either Confederate or Union troops and command them to attack from the trees, rally around the general, or do any number of other realistic military actions.
Civil War A Nation Divided
Rally the troops and organize a counterattack -- Your strategic decision and talent as a commander will decide if the Union is preserved or if Dixie wins its independence
American Civil War Marines 1861-65
Marines wearing blue and grey fought in many dramatic actions afloat and ashore – ship-to-ship engagements, cutting-out expeditions, and coastal landings. This book offers a comprehensive summary of all such battles, illustrated with rare early photographs
Union River Ironclad 1861-65
At the start of the American Civil War, neither side had warships on the Mississippi River. In what would prove the vital naval campaign of the war, both sides fought for control of the river. While the Confederates relied on field fortifications and small gunboats, the Union built a series of revolutionary river ironclads
The Story of the H.L. Hunley
During the Civil War, Union forces blockade the port of Charleston so the Confederate army seeks a way to attrack the Yankee Ships. George Dixon is part of the group of men given the task of creating and building the "fish boat," a submarine. The H.L. Hunley ultimately sets out on its mission to sink Yankee ships, but fails to return, its whereabouts unknown.
Halls of Honor
The U.S. Navy Museum takes you on an informed and entertaining romp through one of North America s oldest and finest military museums. The museum has been in continuous operation at the Washington Navy Yard since the American Civil War
Raise The Alabama
She was known as "the ghost ship." During the Civil War, the CSS Alabama sailed over 75,000 miles and captured more than 60 Union vessels. But her career came to an end in June of 1864 when she was sunk by the USS Kearsarge off the coast of Northern France
The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns
Here is the saga of celebrated generals and ordinary soldiers, a heroic and transcendent president and a country that had to divide itself in two in order to become one