Warships Sunk as a Result of Enemy Action during the American Civil WarEdit

The following is a list of warships and associated vessels known definitively to have been sunk and/or destroyed (rendered unusable) as a result of enemy action, rather than acts of God, scuttling, etc. The list will begin with Ironclads, but will eventually move on to other, non-Ironclad vessels. As various entries for these ships are completed, they will be linked here.

In general, destruction of warships (particularly Ironclads) was comparatively rare; most heavily damaged ships withdrew or surrendered to enemy forces before receiving the kind of damage that would have been required to sink them. Most of the ships actually sunk by enemy action during the war were sunk by mines (known as torpedoes at the time) or by ramming. Among those that were lost, many were raised and either repaired, captured, salvaged, or sold for scrap. Only a few remained unsalvageable.

Confederate States IroncladsEdit

CSS Albemarle (October, 1864)

Sunk by a spar torpedo mounted on a small launch that had been lifted over the obstructions protecting her in a daring commando style raid. She was raised and later repaired, but later sold and scrapped without having been used in any meaningful way by her Union salvers.

CSS Manassas (April, 1862)

Heavily damaged during the Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip as a result of ramming by more than one Union warship, she was deliberately run aground, either as a result of a Federal ramming attack or by her own crew (records conflict on this point.) During Union attempts to salvage here as an "engineering curiosity," a small fire caused by damage inflicted upon her during the battle reached the ammunition stowage onboard and caused an explosion, spectacularly threw her off the riverbank and into the Mississippi, where she promptly sank.

United States IroncladsEdit

USS Cairo (December, 1862)

Sank near Haines Bluff, Mississippi while clearing the river in preparation for the planned Union attack. She was struck by an electronically detonated torpedo (mine) operated from a party of concealed Confederate volunteers. The first warship to be sunk by an electronically activated mine.

USS Cincinnati (May, 1862)

Rammed and badly damaged during the Battle of Plum Point . She retreated to shallows and sank. Later raised and repaired.

USS Eastport (April, 1864)

Struck a mine during the Red River Campaign, and sank in shallow water, though most of the crew escaped unscathed. She was judged to be salvable, and great efforts were exerted to get her out of Confederate territory, but it was ultimately decided to destroy her in order to prevent her from falling into rebel hands.

USS Indianola (April, 1863)

Rammed by the CSS Queen of the West (recently captured from the Union) and CSS Webb above Vicksburg, she veered into the west bank of the river and sank in shallow water. She was judged salvable by the Confederates and captured shortly thereafter.

USS Keokuk (April, 1863)

Heavily damaged by Confederate gunfire during the Union Bombardment of Fort Sumter; she was struck over ninety times, many of them below the water line. She managed to limp away but sank not long after, though her crew was successfully evacuated. Notably, this is the only ironclad vessel on either side of the conflict to have been sunk by gunfire alone.

USS Milwaukee (March, 1865)

Struck a mine and sank near Spanish Fort, Alabama. Her entire crew was rescued.

USS Mound City (May, 1862)

Rammed and badly damaged during the Battle of Plum Point . She retreated to shallows and sank. Later raised and repaired.

USS Osage (March, 1865)

Struck a mine and sank in the Blakely River.

USS Patapsco (January, 1865)

Sunk while clearing obstructions in Charleston Harbor. She struck a mine and went down quickly, with a very heavy loss of life.

USS Tecumseh (August, 1864)

Destroyed in the opening phases in the Battle of Mobile Bay when she struck a mine and went to the bottom almost immediately, taking ninety two of her one hundred man crew with her.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.