CSS GEORGIA (1863)
Built: Savannah, Georgia
Commissioned: July, 1863
Service: Savannah Squadron, 1863-1864
Home Port: Savannah, Georgia
Dimensions: 250' Length, 60' Beam, 13' Draft
Armor: 4" iron with wood backing
Armament: 4x6.4" Brooke Rifles, 2x10" Brooke Smoothebores
Engines: Single Screw
Speed: 3 knots
Fate: Scuttled and Burned, December 21st 1864.
Often referred to as "The Ladies Ram", CSS Georgia was also referenced in a few period sources as "State of Georgia." She was conceived by a local industrialist and funded by voluntary subscription from the ladies of Savannah. The design, while large and imposing, was a very poor one, and her oversized hull combined with unreliable engines gave her a distinct lack of motive power. It has since been theorized that a beam from the cradle may have adhered to her hull during launch, causing drag and making her almost impossible to handle.
As a result of her engine problems, she was used as a floating battery, and rarely moved under her own power. Nevertheless, sources which describe her as "immobile" are incorrect, since it is clear from period sources htat the engines were used on occasion. Despite her problems, the ship was quite popular with the pro-Secession elements of Georgia's population, and was seen as a symbol of state pride.
When Savannah was evacuated in December of 1864, it was decided that Georgia could not be saved, once again owing to her lack of propulsion. She was burned and scuttled. The wreck settled to the bottom and was well preserved for several years, but decades of dredging in the channel where she settled help to damage and scatter the wreck. Whether she should be raised or indeed whether there is anything worthwhile left to be saved is a somewhat controversial issue at the time of this writing. Archaeological surveys seem to indicate that not much is left of the wreck, but these findings have been disputed.