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CSS ATLANTA | US Civil War Ironclad

Updated on November 12, 2012

CSS Atlanta

CSS Atlanta was originally the English blockade runner Fingal, built at Glasgow, Scotland, in 1861. She was procured by the Confederate Government in 1862 and converted into an ironclad ram at Savannah by Messrs. N. and A. F. Tift. This vessel, with Commander W. McBlair, CSN, in command, was active on the Savannah station, usually flying the flag of Commodore Tattnall, who lived ashore in Savannah. On 17 June 1863 she was captured at dawn in Wassaw Sound, Ga., by monitors Weehawken and Nahant.

 

CSS Atlanta - Civil War Ironclad Ram

CSS Atlanta , an 1006-ton ironclad ram, was originally built in Scotland in 1861 as the merchant steamship Fingal . In November 1861 she ran the blockade into Savannah, Georgia, with a large cargo of weapons and military supplies. After Union forces closed the exits from Savannah, preventing her further use as a blockade runner, Fingal was converted to an casemate ironclad and renamed Atlanta . She made her first appearance as a Confederate warship in mid-1862.

Atlanta made two efforts to attack Federal warships blockading the coast and rivers leading to Savannah. The first, in early 1863, was thwarted by obstructions blocking the route to the sea. In June 1863 Atlanta made her second attempt, targeting blockaders in Wassau Sound. There, on the 17th, she encountered the U.S. Navy monitors Nahant and Weehawken . In a brief battle, Atlanta went aground and was overwhelmed by Weehawken 's superior firepower, forcing her to surrender.

The captured ironclad was taken into the Union Navy as USS Atlanta , commissioning for service in February 1864. She was stationed on the James River, Virginia, to support the operations of the army under General Grant. On 21 May 1864, she fired on Confederate cavalry that were attacking Fort Powhatan. A year later, with the Civil War over, Atlanta went north and decommissioned at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in June 1865. After several years "in ordinary", she was sold in May 1869. Reportedly, she subsequently became the Haitian warship Triumph and disappeared at sea off Cape Hatteras in December 1869.

Iron Afloat: The Story of the Confederate Armorclads

by William N. Still

Everyone knows the story of the battle of the Monitor and the Merrimack. But how many people know the story behind the Confederacy's attempt to build a fleet of armorclad vessels of war? Built from converted steam ships, built on riverbeds and cornfields. Learn how the Confederacy built a fleet of ironclads that were more than a match for anything from the Northern invaders.

The CSS Virginia: Sink Before Surrender

The CSS Virginia: Sink Before Surrender Published by The History Press

by John V. Quarstein

The morning the CSS Virginia (formerly the USS Merrimack) slowly steamed down the Elizabeth River toward Hampton Roads on March 8, 1862, naval warfare changed forever. Wooden sailing ships became obsolete, armored, steam-powered vessels where the new dreadnaughts. Little did the ironclad's crew realize that their makeshift warship would achieve the greatest Confederate naval victory. The trip was thought by most of the crew to be a trial cruise. Instead, the Virginia's aggressive commander, Franklin Buchanan, transformed the voyage into a test by fire that forever proved the supreme power of iron over wood.

The Virginia's ability to beat the odds to become the first ironclad to enter Hampton Roads stands as a testament to her designers, builders, officers and crew. Virtually everything about the Virginia s design was an improvisation or an adaptation, characteristic of the Confederacy's efforts to wage a modern war with limited industrial resources. Noted historian John V. Quarstein recounts the compelling story of this ironclad underdog, providing detailed appendices, including crew member biographies and a complete chronology of the ship and crew.

Ironclad Rams - CSS Atlanta

Civil War Ironclad
Civil War Ironclad

What Happened to the Civil War Ironclads

Final Resting Place of a Civil War Ironclad

CSS Atlanta. Captured by USS Weehawken and Nahant in Wassaw Sound near Savannah River 17 Jun 1863, taken into Union service; see USS Atlanta. Survived war. Sold to Haiti 4 May 1869, renamed Triumph. Lost at sea off Cape Hatteras Dec 1869. Wreck has never been located.

US Civil War Ironclads

Great Books About Ironclads

Three great books about US Civil War Ironclads and the first ironclad battle at Hampton Road, Virginia in 1862.

Confederate Ironclad 1861-65 (New Vanguard)

Confederate Ironclad vs Union Ironclad: Hampton Roads 1862 (Duel Series)

Duel of the Ironclads: USS Monitor and CSS Virginia at Hampton Roads 1862 (General Military)

CSS Virginia Limited Edition

CSS Virginia, Limited Edition

This is a full assembled ready for display museum quality replica of the CSS Virginia, formerly the USS Merrimack. This model is 34" long by 7" wide and 9" high, 1/96 scale. Built of high quality wood and brass detail parts. These museum-quality scale Civil War replicas of one of history's most famous warships produced as Limited Edition ironclad models of the famous CSS Virginia, are certain to enthrall even the most discriminating naval historian or Civil War buff.

CONFEDERATE IRONCLADS of the US Civil War
The battle between the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia, (formerly the USS Merrimack) two of the Civil War Ironclads, started one of the biggest changes in N...

CSS Richmond Civil War Ironclad
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CSS GEORGIA | US Civil War Ironclad
CSS Georgia, also known as State of Georgia and Ladies Ram, was an ironclad floating battery built at Savannah, Georgia in 1862-1863. Placed under command of...

CSS ALBEMARLE | Ironclad of The Roanoke | US Civil War Armorclad
CSS Albemarle was an ironclad ram of the Confederate Navy named for a town and a sound in North Carolina and a county in Virginia. All three locations were n...

CSS MANASSAS | US Civil War Ironclad
CSS Manassas, formerly the steam propeller Enoch Train, was built at Medford, Massachusetts, by J. O. Curtis in 1855. A New Orleans commission merchant, Capt...

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