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Plymouth in Washington County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

CSS Albemarle

Ironclad Gunboat

 
 
CSS Albemarle CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 28, 2012
1. CSS Albemarle CWT Marker
Inscription. In 1863, 19-year-old engineer Gilbert Elliott contracted with the Confederate Navy Department to construct an ironclad gunboat designed by John L. Porter, the navy’s chief architect. Elliott built the vessel at Edwards Ferry on the Roanoke River, 60 miles upstream from here, where his “shipyard” was Peter E. Smith’s cornfield. It took more than a year to construct CSS Albemarle, which was 158 feet long, 35 feet wide, and topped with a 60-foot-long case-mate sheathed with two layers of two-inch-thick iron plates. Inside the casemate, two large Brooke Rifle cannons could fire hundred-pound shells. An 18-foot-long white-oak ram, also sheathed with iron plates, extended from Albemarle’s bow to puncture the sides of wooden vessels and sink them.

Albemarle first saw action on April 19, 1864, during the Battle of Plymouth, when it rammed and sank USS Southfield. It also indirectly caused the death of the Federal fleet’s commander, Charles W. Flusser. A shell fired from Flusser’s ship (USS Miami) at Albemarle bounced off the iron plating back onto Miami and exploded, killing Flusser, who was standing next to the cannon that had fired the shell.

On May 5, in an engagement in Albemarle Sound, the Albemarle faced seven U.S. gunboats. Despite being outgunned
CSS Albemarle CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 28, 2012
2. CSS Albemarle CWT Marker
60 cannons to two, outshelled 557 to 27, and rammed, Albemarle escaped destruction. The ironclad finally was torpedoed (blown up with a mine on the end of a wooden spar) on October 27, by a motor launch commanded by Lt. William B. Cushing, and sank. The Federals recaptured Plymouth on October 31.
 
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
 
Location. 35° 52.14′ N, 76° 44.895′ W. Marker is in Plymouth, North Carolina, in Washington County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of East Water Street and Madison Street, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Located behind the Port O’ Plymouth Roanoke River Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 302 E Water St, Plymouth NC 27962, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named CSS Albemarle (here, next to this marker); Battle of Plymouth (within shouting distance of this marker); Replica 6.4 inch Brooke Rifled Canon (within shouting distance of this marker); Siege of Plymouth, NC (within shouting distance of this marker); Rt. Rev. Alfred Augustin Watson (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct
CSS <i>Albemarle</i> 3/8 scale model image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 28, 2012
3. CSS Albemarle 3/8 scale model
line); Cushing’s Torpedo (about 500 feet away); Latham House (about 700 feet away); Washington County Courthouse (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Plymouth.
 
More about this marker. On the left is a sketch of "The CSS Albemarle ready for action."

On the right are images of the "The CSS Albemarle rammed by the USS Sassacus" and "The CSS Albemarle sinking the USS Southfield."
 
Also see . . .  CSS Albemarle. Washington County TDA (Submitted on July 1, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
 
CSS <i>Albemarle<i> exhibit on the Roanoke River image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 28, 2012
4. CSS Albemarle exhibit on the Roanoke River
CSS Albemarle (1864-1864) image. Click for full size.
5. CSS Albemarle (1864-1864)
19th Century engraving of the ship as she appeared "ready for action". Naval History and Heritage Command
"The Steamship 'Sassacus' Ramming The Rebel Ram 'Albemarle'" image. Click for full size.
6. "The Steamship 'Sassacus' Ramming The Rebel Ram 'Albemarle'"
Engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 4 June 1864, depicting USS Sassacus ramming CSS Albemarle, during the Confederate ironclad's engagement with U.S. Navy gunboats in Albemarle Sound, North Carolina, 5 May 1864. Naval History and Heritage Command
"The Rebel Ram Attacking Federal Gun-Boats at Plymouth, North Carolina" image. Click for full size.
7. "The Rebel Ram Attacking Federal Gun-Boats at Plymouth, North Carolina"
Engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", May 1864, depicting CSS Albemarle driving off USS Miami, after ramming and sinking USS Southfield (foreground), 19 April 1864.Naval History and Heritage Command
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 534 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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