CSS Webb

Confederate States
Name: Webb
Namesake: William Henry Webb
Builder: William Henry Webb, New York City[1]
Launched: 1856
Acquired: May 1861
Commissioned: 1865
Fate: Burned to avoid capture, April 1865
General characteristics
Type: Side-wheel River Steamer
Displacement: 655 tons

CSS Webb, a 655-ton side-wheel steam ram, was originally built in New York City in 1856 as the civilian steamship William H. Webb. She received a Confederate privateer's commission at New Orleans in May 1861, but was instead employed as a transport until January 1862. Converted to a "cotton clad" ram by the Confederate Army, Webb thereafter served on the Mississippi and Red Rivers. On February 24, 1863, she participated in the sinking of the Federal ironclad USS Indianola. Webb was transferred to the Confederate Navy in early 1865.

On April 23–24, 1865, she broke through the Federal blockade at the mouth of the Red River, Louisiana, and made a dramatic run down the Mississippi toward the Gulf of Mexico. After passing New Orleans, she was cornered by United States Navy ships, run ashore and destroyed by her crew.


  1. Gaines, W. Craig. Encyclopedia of Civil War shipwrecks. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-8071-3274-6, p.75
This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

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