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Savannah in Chatham County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
Ironclads and Gunboats of the Savannah River Squadron
 
Ironclads and Gunboats of the Savannah River Squadron Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, 2009
1. Ironclads and Gunboats of the Savannah River Squadron Marker
 
Inscription. During the Civil War, the Savannah River Squadron protected the City of Savannah from Union attack by river. The squadron usually consisted of small coastal and river steamers. In November 1861, the British-built blockade-runner Fingal arrived in Savannah and was quickly converted into a powerful ironclad by 1862. Two local ironclads were under construction at the time. The "Ladies Gunboat" CSS Georgia was commissioned in November 1862 and the CSS Savannah was completed in the summer of 1863. Several purpose built gunboats like the CSS Isondiga and CSS Macon also served in the Savannah Squadron.

USS Atlanta in Union Service on the James River in Virginia
( Picture included )
One of the Confederacy's most powerful ironclads, CSS Atlanta was constructed upon the iron hull of the blockade-runner Fingal. The refitted 204-foot, 1000-ton ironclad steamed down the Wilmington River under the command of William Webb. As "bold as a lion," the Confederate navy vessel headed for Union monitors USS Weehawken and USS Nahant. Before Atlanta could intercept the Union vessels, the warship grounded. Unable to maneuver, Commander Webb surrendered his ship after shot from the Weehawken carried away its pilothouse.
 
CSS <i> Atlanta </i>, captured, Photo, Click for full size
Ironclads and Gunboats of the Savannah River Squadron Marker
2. CSS Atlanta , captured,
Renamed the USS Atlanta, the ironclad served the U.S. navy in Virginia waters until the end of the war.
 
Renamed the USS Atlanta, the ironclad served the U.S. navy in Virginia waters until the end of the war.
"Mosquito Fleet" Steamers
( Picture included )
A rare illustration of the armed coastal and river steamers in the Savannah Squadron

CSS Georgia moored above Obstructions
( Picture included )
Little is known about the design of the "Ladies Gunboat", but archaeological investigation of the vessel has provided new clues. Georgia's armor consisted of an alternating pattern of railroad rails. The CSS Georgia was intentionally blown up across the river from Fort Jackson on December 21, 1864 to avoid it being captured by the approaching Union Army led by General William Sherman.

CSS Savannah Explodes
( Picture included )
As the officers and sailors of the Savannah River Squadron retreated into South Carolina during the evacuation of Savannah in December 1864, they scuttled the vessel to prevent its capture by the Union Army. The explosion that destroyed the CSS Savannah lit up the sky for miles.
( Pictures included ) Cross Section of the CSS Savannah
CSS Chicora

The Charleston built CSS Chicora was a Richmond-class Confederate ironclad. A rare image of the Chicora
 
"Mosquito Fleet" Steamers Photo, Click for full size
Ironclads and Gunboats of the Savannah River Squadron Marker, Library of Congress
3. "Mosquito Fleet" Steamers
 
shows what CSS Savannah would have also looked like.

 
Erected 2009 by U.S. Dept. Of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, Georgia Dept. of Transportation. (Marker Number 10.)
 
Location. 32° 4.814′ N, 81° 5.073′ W. Marker is in Savannah, Georgia, in Chatham County. Marker is on East River Street, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Located near East Broad Street ramp at the riverside. Marker is in this post office area: Savannah GA 31401, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Lions Club of Savannah (within shouting distance of this marker); The Liberty (within shouting distance of this marker); Crossing the Savannah (within shouting distance of this marker); 1996 Olympic Yachting Cauldron (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Harbor Light (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Georgia Medical Society (about 300 feet away); Native Americans on the Georgia Coast (about 400 feet away); Jane Cuyler (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Savannah.
 
Also see . . .
1. Encyclopedia of Civil War shipwrecks By W. Craig Gaines page 47-48. CSS Georgia (Submitted on June 8, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 

2. CSS Georgia. Naval Historical Center (Submitted on June 8, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 

3. CSS Savannah. Naval Historical Center (Submitted on June 8, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 

4. CSS Chicora,. Naval Historical Center (Submitted on June 8, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
<b> CSS<i> Savannah </i> Explodes </b> Photo, Click for full size
Ironclads and Gunboats of the Savannah River Squadron Marker
4. CSS Savannah Explodes
 

5. The Richmond- Class Ironclads. article about The Chicora, North Carolina, Palmetto State, Raleigh, Richmond and Savannah (Submitted on June 8, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
CSS <i> Chicora </i> Photo, Click for full size
Ironclads and Gunboats of the Savannah River Squadron Marker
5. CSS Chicora
 
 
Ironclads and Gunboats of the Savannah River Squadron Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, May 24, 2009
6. Ironclads and Gunboats of the Savannah River Squadron Marker
as seen along the river
 
 
Ironclads and Gunboats of the Savannah River Squadron Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, May 30, 2009
7. Ironclads and Gunboats of the Savannah River Squadron Marker
 
 
CSS<i> Savannah </i> , as mentioned Photo, Click for full size
Naval Historical Center NH # 51961
8. CSS Savannah , as mentioned
 
 
CSS <i> Georgia </i> Photo, Click for full size
Naval Historical Center NH # 57819
9. CSS Georgia
 
 
CSS <i> Chicora </i>, at left Photo, Click for full size
Naval Historical Center, NH # 55237
10. CSS Chicora , at left
 
 
Sidewheel steamer, "Planter" Photo, Click for full size
The Hilton Head Island Historical Society Port Royal Interpretive Marker
11. Sidewheel steamer, "Planter"
This is typical of the coasting vessels used before the war to carry cotton from the island plantations to Savannah and Charleston. The 110 foot sidewheel steamer, "Planter", had been converted into a Confederate gunboat. She hauled as many as a thousand troops, and also hauled guns and ammunition to Bay Point and Hilton Head.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on June 8, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 3,119 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on June 8, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   11. submitted on August 30, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
 
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