USS Alabama
Civil War Union Naval Ship

USS Alabama (1861-1865).
Previously and later the civilian steamship Alabama (1850-1861, 1865-1878)

Alabama , a 1261-ton wooden side-wheel steamer, was built at New York City in 1850 and operated thereafter in commercial service in the western Atlantic. The U.S. Army used her as a transport during the spring and early summer of 1861, and she was purchased by the Navy at the beginning of August of that year for conversion to a warship. Commissioned as USS Alabama at the end of September 1861, in the next month she was attached to the large naval force preparing to seize Port Royal, South Carolina, for use as a base for blockading the southern seacoast. However, before that expedition reached its target area, she was detached and sent to patrol off Charleston, South Carolina. In December, Alabama took station along the Georgia coast, capturing the ship Admiral there on the 12th.

For the rest of 1861 and most of 1862, Alabama continued to enforce the blockade. In February and March 1862 she took part in the occupation of coastal positions in Georgia and Florida, and later played a role in the capture of at least three blockade running schooners. Alabama was under repair in October-December 1862, after which she spent nearly seven months cruising in the West Indies area in search of Confederate commerce raiders. She was sent north in late July 1863 in an effort to control an outbreak of yellow fever among her crew and did not resume active service until May 1864.

Alabama served with the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron for the rest of the Civil War. While off the North Carolina coast in October 1864, she assisted in the destruction of the blockade runner Annie . Late in 1864 and in January 1865, Alabama supported the attacks that finally captured Fort Fisher, thus closing the port of Wilmington, N.C., as a source of supplies and commerce for the Confederate cause. During March and April 1865, she operated in the vicinity of Hampton Roads and on the James River, Virginia. Her final active service was performed cruising along the mid-Atlantic coast. USS Alabama was decommissioned at Philadelphia in mid-June 1865 and sold less than a month later. She soon resumed civilian employment, with no change in name, and remained in merchant service until destroyed by fire in 1878.

Watercolor by Erik Heyl

"Portion of the Naval Expedition, as it appeared on the night of October 16, sailing to Hampton Roads. -- Sketched by an Officer on Board." 1861
Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1861. It depicts Flag Officer DuPont's squadron en route to capture Port Royal, South Carolina.
Ships, all U.S. Navy, as identified, are (from left): Wabash , Florida , Augusta , Alabama , Ottawa , Seneca and Pembina

USS Monitor
War, Technology, and Experience aboard the USS Monitor
The experience of the men aboard the Monitor and their reactions to the thrills and dangers that accompanied the new machine. The invention surrounded men with iron and threatened their heroism, their self-image as warriors, even their lives

Kindle Available
Naval Strategies

Naval Strategies of the Civil War: Confederate Innovations and Federal Opportunism
Compare and contrast the strategies of the Southern Secretary of the Navy, Mallory, against his rival in the North, Welles. Mallory used technological innovation and the skill of individuals to bolster the South's seapower against the Union Navy's superior numbers

Enfield Rifle
1860 Enfield Civil War Musketoon
This piece is a full-size non-firing reproduction of the rifle used in the Civil War. The body is made of European hardwood

Civil War Cannon Collectible
Civil War Cannon
Collectible Models and childrens playsets
Miniature Collectible Civil War Cannon12 pound Civil War field cannon replica weapon

Civil War Ships and Battles

Civil War Submarines

RAM Ships

Civil War Naval Timeline

American Civil War Exhibits

State Battle Maps

Civil War Summary

Civil War Timeline

Women in the Civil War

Battles by Campaign

American Civil War Naval Book Titles
Kindle Available
Raising the Hunley

Raising the Hunley: The Remarkable History and Recovery of the Lost Confederate Submarine
For more than a century the fate of the Hunley remained one of the great unsolved mysteries of the Civil War. Then, on August 8, 2000, with thousands of spectators crowding Charleston Harbor, the Hunley was raised from the bottom of the sea and towed ashore.
The Story of the CSS Hunley
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.
Kindle Available
Reign of Iron

Reign of Iron: The Story of the First Battling Ironclads, the Monitor and the Merrimack
The first ironclad ships to fight each other, the Monitor and the Virginia (Merrimack), were the unique products of American design genius

Battle on the Bay:
The Civil War Struggle for Galveston

Civil War history of Galveston is one of the last untold stories from America's bloodiest war, despite the fact that Galveston was a focal point of hostilities throughout the conflict. Galveston emerged as one of the Confederacy's only lifelines to the outside world.

Civil War History Documentary DVD Movie Titles
Halls of Honor
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
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
Civil War
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
Conflict Begins
Civil War Journal
The Conflict Begins

These four programs from the History Channel series Civil War Journal cover critical aspects of the early days of the war.


U.S. National Park Service
U.S. Library of Congress
US Naval Archives

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