The American Civil War At Sea Wiki


Built: Wilmington, North Carolina

Commissioned: Unknown

Service: Cape Fear River (1862-1864); Wilmington (1864)

Home Port: Wilmington, North Carolina

Dimensions: Unknown

Armor: Unknown

Armament: Unknown

Engines: Unknown

Speed: Unknown

Crew: Unknown

Fate: Sunk as an obstruction near Wilmington, December 24, 1864.


We know precious little about CSS Arctic. Some sources list her as an armed tug; others claim that she was an early and unsuccessful ironclad design. According to the DANFS she was an "ironclad floating battery," whose machinery was removed to facilitate the construction of CSS Richmond in late 1862. This would imply that she was an ironclad vessel, rather than a floating battery, at some point, otherwise one questions which machinery was "removed" from her in order to facilitate building of the Richmond. Certainly such a transfer would at least have been theoretically possible this early in the war.

Aside from these, and a few excerpts from her ships log and watch schedule, we have very little go to on. She appears to have been sunk as an obstruction near Battery Buchanan for the purposes of the defense of Wilmington in late 1864.