Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Sad Fate of the Rattlesnake

In A Just and Holy Cause? Marcus wrote to Mattie about the fate of the Nashville. You can read this first hand account in my book.

The following article appeared in the Macon Telegraph on March 3, 1863:
The Nashville, a paddle wheeled steamer began as the USMS Nashville, a United States Mail ship. Between 1853 and 1861 she delivered mail from New York City to Charleston, SC. The Nashville sailed into the Charleston bay during the Battle of  Fort Sumter. After the fort fell into Confederate hands, the steamer was seized and recommissioned as the CSS Nashville and outfitted as a warship. She was the first warship to fly the Confederate flag in English waters. In February1862 she returned to port in Beaufort, SC and was sold for use as a blockade runner. In November 1862, the Nashville became the privateer Rattlesnake. On February 28, 1863 she ran aground on the Ogeechee River and was destroyed by the USS Montauk, a steam propelled warship protected by iron or steel armor plates. The Montauk saw action throughout the war and was used as a floating prison after the the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. It was the site of the autopsy and identification of John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln's assassin. Today, you can visit the Fort McAllister State Park in Richmond Hill, GA  and visit the remains of the Nashville.

 Hale, Nathan, Big Bad Ironclads: A Civil War Steamship Showdown, Naval Institute Press, 1989

Silverstein, Paul H. Warships in the Civil War Navies, Abrams Pub., 1972

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