CSS Huntsville

Sketch of CSS Huntsville, Mobile, Alabama, 1864[1]
Confederate States of America
Name: Huntsville
Namesake: Huntsville, Alabama
Ordered: May 1, 1862
Builder: Confederate Naval Works at Selma
Launched: February 7, 1863
Completed: August 1, 1863
Out of service: April 12, 1865
Fate: Scuttled in Spanish River to prevent capture
General characteristics
Length: 150 or 152 ft (45.7 or 46.3 m)
Beam: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Draught: 7 ft (2.1 m)
Propulsion: Steam
Speed: 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph)
Complement: 40

CSS Huntsville was a Confederate ironclad floating battery built at Selma, Alabama from 1862 to 1863.[2]


Huntsville was ordered on May 1, 1862 by the Confederate States Navy. She was launched at the Confederate Naval Works at Selma on February 7, 1863 and finished in Mobile. She was finally delivered on August 1, 1863. She was only partially armored, with the armor plate delivered by the Shelby Iron Company of Shelby, Alabama and the Atlanta Rolling Mill.[3] She had defective engines that were obtained from a river steamer and an incomplete armament, so was assigned to guard the waters around Mobile.[3]

Huntsville escaped up the Spanish River following the Battle of Mobile Bay on August 5, 1864. The city of Mobile held out another eight months, with the upper portion of Mobile Bay remaining in Confederate hands. She, along with the CSS Tuscaloosa, was scuttled where the Spanish River splits off from the Mobile River on the north side of Blakeley Island, just north of Mobile, on April 12, 1865 to prevent her capture following the surrender of the city. The wreck was located in the river in 1985.[4]


  1. National Archives of the United States, Record Group 45, David G. Farragut to Gideon Welles, September 26, 1864
  2. Herbert J. Lewis (September 23, 2011). "Selma Ordnance and Naval Foundry". The Encyclopedia of Alabama. Auburn University.
  3. 1 2 "Huntsville". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. United States Navy. September 24, 2011.
  4. Gaines, W. Craig (2008). Encyclopedia of Civil War Shipwrecks. LSU Press. pp. 1–8. ISBN 978-0-8071-3274-6.


Coordinates: 30°46′09″N 88°01′14″W / 30.76924°N 88.02053°W / 30.76924; -88.02053

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