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CSS TEXAS | US Civil War Ironclad

Updated on March 28, 2013

CSS Texas

The keel for the CSS Texas was laid down at Richmond, Virginia. She was  launched in January 1865. At the time of Robert E. Lee's evacuation of Richmond on April 3, 1865, she was left unfinished but intact in an outfitting berth at the Richmond Navy Yard, one of only two vessels which escaped destruction by the departing Confederate forces. Captured when the city fell the following day, the ironclad was taken into the United States Navy, but saw no service. Texas was laid up at Norfolk until October 15, 1867 when she was sold to J.N. Leonard.

CSS Texas

Tennessee Class Ironclad

From a technological view, the CSS Texas was one of a series of three 'Tennessee class' ironclads. (The other two being the CSS Tennessee II and CSS Columbia) which embodied the latest developments in Confederate shipbuilding technology. Her casemate was diamond-shaped rather than being a sloped box as on earlier ships and fited snugly around the front, aft and side cannon placement. Instead of bolted on, the pilot house almost formed a seamless natural extension of the side armor. Details of her armament are sketchy, but her sister ship, the CSS Tennessee II ported 4 6.4 in. Brooke rifles, 2 7 in. Brooke rifles and a bolted-on spar torpedo. Also for the Tennessee II, Armor was given as 3 layers of 2 in, top speed as 5 knots and crew as 133 men. It is unclear however in how far the CSS Texas resembled the Tennessee II as other sources give her a (projected) speed of no less than 10 knots and note that both the Tennessee II and the Texas differed from the original design due to availability of key materials (in particular guns and engines) and due to improvements made during construction from lessons learned in combat.

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CSS Texas Specifications

US Civil War Ironclad

The CSS Texas was probably one of the best constructed Confederate ironclads, except for the CSS Mississippi, that the Confederacy had built. She was a twin engine, twin screw ship, 215 feet in length, 48 1/2 feet abeam, or wide, and designed to only draw 13 feet of water. She had a furnace 7 feet long with a grate surface area of 96.8 square feet heated by two boilers, each one was 22 feet long.

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.

CSS Texas Plans

CSS Texas Plans
CSS Texas Plans

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.

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What happened to the Civil War Ironclads?

Final Resting Places

CSS Texas. Never completed. Federal forces captured the CSS Texas at Rocketts Landing in Richmond Virginia on April 3, 1865. An inspecting Union officer said of the CSS Texas, "One of the best and most valuable hulls built by the Rebels."

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.

CSS Richmond Civil War Ironclad
CSS Richmond, an ironclad ram, was built at Gosport (Norfolk) Navy Yard to the design of John L. Porter with money and scrap iron collected by the citizens o...

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...

CSS TENNESSEE | US Civil War Ironclad
CSS Tennessee, a slow-moving ironclad ram, was built at Selma, Alabama, where she was commissioned on February 16, 1864, Lieutenant James D. Johnston, CSN, i...

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What Do You Think of the CSS Texas? - Civil War Armorclads

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    • Paperquest5 profile image
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      Paperquest5 5 years ago

      @Michey LM: Thanks, Michey, I'm glad you enjoyed the lens. I have been planning on reworking some and adding more information. Some of the confederate ironclads were not around very long, like the Texas. Never was in battle, captured almost as soon as it was finished.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      Great info, I will feature your ironclads lenses in my civil war lenses. Thanks for history knowledge.

    • Paperquest5 profile image
      Author

      Paperquest5 5 years ago

      @senditondown: My please, Pastor Jim, glad you stopped by. I have always loved Civil War history, too. And I really like the stories behind the ironclads, there were a lot of them.

    • senditondown profile image

      Senditondown 5 years ago from US

      I've enjoyed Civil War history since I was a kid. Never knew too much about the ironclads with the exception of the Merrimac and the Monitor. Great collection of history and info here. Will have to check out your others as well. Thanks for the history lesson.

    • Paperquest5 profile image
      Author

      Paperquest5 5 years ago

      @reasonablerobby: reasonablerobinson, thanks for the comment. US Civil War history is very interesting.

    • profile image

      reasonablerobby 5 years ago

      I've always loved Civil War history. Here in the UK I used to collect bubble gum cards with civil war images and stories on them.