CSS Tuscaloosa (ironclad)

This article is about the ironclad named CSS Tuscaloosa. For the cruiser named CSS Tuscaloosa, see CSS Tuscaloosa (cruiser).
Sketch of CSS Tuscaloosa, Mobile, Alabama, 1864[1]
Confederate States of America
Name: Tuscaloosa
Namesake: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Builder: Confederate Naval Works at Selma
Laid down: 1862
Launched: February 7, 1863
Out of service: April 12, 1865
Fate: Scuttled in Spanish River to prevent capture
General characteristics
Length: 152 ft (46.3 m)
Beam: 34 ft (10.4 m)
Draught: 7 to 8 ft (2.1 to 2.4 m)
Propulsion: Steam
Speed: 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph)
Complement: 40

CSS Tuscaloosa was a screw ironclad steamer ram in the Confederate States Navy that was laid down by the Confederate Naval Works at Selma in 1862.[2]


Tuscaloosa was launched at Selma, Alabama on February 7, 1863, prior to being ready for duty. Tuscaloosa proceeded downriver under her own power to Mobile for completion. She had 4 in (10.2 cm) armor plate that was delivered by the Shelby Iron Company of Shelby, Alabama and the Atlanta Rolling Mill.[3]

Under the command of Charles H. McBlair, Tuscaloosa served in the waters around Mobile.[4] She 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 Huntsville, was scuttled in the Spanish River below where it 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. Her crew and material were put aboard CCS Nashville. 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. "Tuscaloosa". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. United States Navy. September 24, 2011.
  4. 1 2 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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