CSS Teaser, a 64-ton armed tug, was originally a civilian tugboat that was purchased by the State of Virginia in April 1861 and was later transferred to the Confederate States Navy. While under the command of First Lieutenant William A. Webb, she participated in the 8-9 March 1862 actions in Hampton Roads in which CSS Virginia engaged a succession of Federal warships. Afterwards, Teaser was used to plant and service mines and served as an observation balloon carrier in the James River. She was captured by USS Maratanza on 4 July 1862.
Taken into the U.S. Navy as USS Teaser soon after her capture, she served in the Potomac Flotilla for the much of the rest of the Civil War, enforcing the blockade of Confederate territory, engaging shore batteries and supporting the Army. Periodically, Teaser left the Potomac to take part in operations on other rivers in the Chesapeake Bay region. She was decommissioned in June 1865, following the end of hostilities, and soon thereafter became the civilian tug York River.
This page features all our views of CSS Teaser.
Note: In addition to the views shown above, Photo # NH 58746
presents an engraving that was made on the basis of sketches found on board CSS Teaser
when she was captured on 4 July 1862.
Also, Photo # NH 1896, taken in 1933, shows a Parrott rifled gun whose markings indicate that it had been captured on Teaser.