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Built: Wilmington, North Carolina

Commissioned: 30th April, 1864

Service: 1864, Wilmington

Home Port: Wilmington, North Carolina

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

Armor: 4" iron with wood backing

Armament: 4 x 6.4" Brooke Rifles

Engines: Single Screw

Speed: 6 Knots. '

Crew: 180

Fate: Struck a sandbar and broke her back, 1864.


One of the Richmond class Ironclads, designed by David Porter , Raleigh was built for the defense of Wilmington, North Carolina, and the nearby Cape Fear River.

In May, 1864, Raleigh emerged from Cape Fear in the company of two steamers and attempted to drive off six Union blockading ships. The engagement did cause damage to the Union vessels, but was largely inconclusive, and Raleigh retreated for the evening. The next day, she attempted to finish the job but was surprised by the volume of fire and retreated hastily upriver, where she struck a sandbar and broke her back. The ship was written off as a total loss. Her iron plating was later stripped and salvaged.