Wednesday, February 20, 2013

NC: Ironclad CSS Raleigh, Defender of the Cape Fear

 The CSS Raleigh 
Its keel laid down in the Spring of 1862 at James Cassidey’s
shipyard in Wilmington and construction delayed by labor
disputes and material shortages, the CSS Raleigh was
commissioned by the Confederate States Navy on
3 April 1864 and placed under the command
of Lt. John Wilkinson. 

This officer had just returned from Canada where he
was to command the captured USS Michigan on
Lake Erie had the secret operation not been compromised.
Wilkinson returned South and his assignment to the
CSS Raleigh lasted only a few weeks as he was
ordered to Richmond to be part of an operation to
free Southern prisoners at Point Lookout.

Command of the CSS Raleigh fell to
Lt. John Pembroke Jones, an officer very familiar with
local waters as he was part of the US Navy’s Coast
and Geodetic Survey detachment in the 1850s which
surveyed and charted the coastline in this area.

The CSS Raleigh was a Richmond Class ironclad,
designed by Capt. John L. Porter, Chief Naval
Constructor for the Confederate States Navy.
Its length was 150 feet (172’ overall), a beam of
32 feet, drew 12 feet of water, and armament
consisted of 4-6” guns and perhaps a spar torpedo.
To man the vessel, 197 officers and crew, plus
a detachment of 24 marines were aboard.

 More @ CFHI


  1. That pic of (I assume) Lt. Wilkinson looks like he's about 12.

    1. Reminds me of the Gallant Pelham.