USS Catskill , a 1335-ton Passaic class monitor, was built at Greenpoint, New York. She was commissioned in late February 1863 and almost immediately sent to join the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron off Charleston, South Carolina. Catskill was damaged by Confederate gunfire during the 7 April 1863 attack on Fort Sumter that demonstrated both the strengths of well-defended fortifications and the limitations of monitor-type ironclads. The ship participated in renewed bombardments of Charleston's defenses in July-September and was again damaged. Her commanding officer, Captain George W. Rodgers, was killed in action on 17 August 1863 during one of these battles.
Catskill remained on duty in the vicinity of Charleston during the rest of the Civil War. She destroyed the grounded blockade runner Prince Albert off Fort Moultrie on 9 August 1864. When Charleston fell on 17-18 February 1865, Catskill captured blockade runners Celt and Deer when they went aground trying to escape to sea. In July 1865, some months after the conflict's end, the monitor left Charleston and went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she was decommissioned.
Catskill was briefly renamed Goliath in June-August 1865, while laid up. She was again active in 1876-77, operating along the Atlantic Coast, but was "in ordinary" for more than two decades after that. Recommissioned in April 1898, during the Spanish-American War, Catskill was assigned to coast-defense service off New England.
Officers posing on deck and atop the turret, while the ship was in Charleston harbor, South Carolina, in 1865. The Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Edward Barrett, is seated on the turret, in center.
Note awning spread over the turret and conning tower, ship's bell mounted on the turret side, marks from Confederate shot hits on the turret armor, and additional armor plate laid on the deck.
Guns on field carriages are 12-pounder Dahlgren howitzers. Turret gun to the right is a XI-inch Dahlgren smoothbore. The other turret gun is a XV-inch Dahlgren smoothbore.
View of the ship's propeller well, with cover removed, photographed by N.L. Stebbins, Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1898.
Note tiller at left, with rudder chains running across the deck
War, Technology, and Experience aboard the USS Monitor
The experience of the men aboard the Monitor and their reactions to the thrills and dangers that accompanied the new machine. The invention surrounded men with iron and threatened their heroism, their self-image as warriors, even their lives
Confederate Ironclad 1861-65
Every aspect of Confederate ironclads is covered: design, construction, armor, armament, life on board, strategy, tactics, and actual combat actions
Life in Mr. Lincoln's Navy
A tantalizing glimpse into the hardships endured by the naval leadership to build and recruit a fighting force. The seaman endured periods of boredom, punctuated by happy social times and terrifying bouts of battle horror
The CSS Virginia
The CSS Virginia of the Confederate States Navy destroyed two of the most formidable warships in the U.S. Navy. Suddenly, with this event, every wooden warship in every navy in the world became totally obsolete
Confederate Submarines and Torpedo Vessels 1861-65
Interesting information and many excellent illustrations. It addresses the CSA David class torpedo boats and the Hunley (and its predecessors), as well as Union examples such as the Alligator and the Spuyten Duyvil
View of the ship's anchor well, with its cover removed, photographed by N.L. Stebbins, Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1898.
Note anchor chain running out of hause hole and around a roller inside the well, and other chain wrapped around the forward deck bitts.
View in the turret chamber, photographed by N.L. Stebbins, Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1898.
Note mechanism for lifting the turret so it can be rotated.
View in the ship's engine room, photographed by N.L. Stebbins, Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1898.
Note decorations painted on some parts of the machinery.
American Civil War Marines 1861-65
Marines wearing blue and grey fought in many dramatic actions afloat and ashore – ship-to-ship engagements, cutting-out expeditions, and coastal landings. This book offers a comprehensive summary of all such battles, illustrated with rare early photographs
Union River Ironclad 1861-65
At the start of the American Civil War, neither side had warships on the Mississippi River. In what would prove the vital naval campaign of the war, both sides fought for control of the river. While the Confederates relied on field fortifications and small gunboats, the Union built a series of revolutionary river ironclads
The Story of the H.L. Hunley
During the Civil War, Union forces blockade the port of Charleston so the Confederate army seeks a way to attrack the Yankee Ships. George Dixon is part of the group of men given the task of creating and building the "fish boat," a submarine. The H.L. Hunley ultimately sets out on its mission to sink Yankee ships, but fails to return, its whereabouts unknown.
Halls of Honor
The U.S. Navy Museum takes you on an informed and entertaining romp through one of North America s oldest and finest military museums. The museum has been in continuous operation at the Washington Navy Yard since the American Civil War
Raise The Alabama
She was known as "the ghost ship." During the Civil War, the CSS Alabama sailed over 75,000 miles and captured more than 60 Union vessels. But her career came to an end in June of 1864 when she was sunk by the USS Kearsarge off the coast of Northern France
The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns
Here is the saga of celebrated generals and ordinary soldiers, a heroic and transcendent president and a country that had to divide itself in two in order to become one