The American Civil War At Sea Wiki


Built: Wilmington, North Carolina

Commissioned: December, 1863

Service: Wilmington Squadron, 1863-1864

Home Port: Smithville (Southport), North Carolina

Dimensions: 172' 6" Length, 32' Beam, 12' Draft

Armor: 4" Iron, with wood backing.

Armament: Disputed, likely 4 Brooke Rifles

Engines: Single Screw

Speed: 6 Knot

Crew: 180

Fate: Sank, September 27 1864.


North Carolina was one of the seven Richmond class ironclads to be completed before the end of the war. She served along with her sister ship CSS Raleigh in the defense of Wilmington and the Cape Fear River. North Carolina seems to have been based out of Smithville, North Carolina, for most of her service.

North Carolina is probably the most poorly documented of the completed Richmond class ships. Her armament is unclear, and the circumstances of her deployment are questionable. It is certain that she was built with certain "structural flaws," and an inspection late in her career revealed that the wooden hull was riddled with ship worms and unsound. It is reported by one source that she was equipped with older, unreliable engines, and that these may have played a role in her continued problems. She may have been unpainted throughout her service. On September 27th, 1864, she sprang a leak and sank near Smithville.