Today in History:

Stonewall Jackson (1862)

CSS Stonewall Jackson, a side-wheel "cotton-clad" ram, was one of the steamers converted to warships in early 1862 for the Confederacy's River Defense Fleet. Commissioned in March 1862, she was stationed in the Mississippi below New Orleans. On 24 April 1862, as the Federal fleet under Flag Officer Farragut ran past the river forts, Stonewall Jackson rammed and sank the Union gunboat USS Varuna. Damaged in that engagement, she was chased ashore by other U.S. Navy ships and burned.

This page features our only views of CSS Stonewall Jackson.

Photo #: NH 57825

CSS Stonewall Jackson (1862-1862)

Sepia wash drawing by R.G. Skerrett, 1904.
This ship is an example of a "cotton-clad" gunboat.

Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC.

Photo #: NH 59077

"Engagement between the U.S. Gunboat 'Varuna' and the Confederate Ram 'Breckinridge' and Gunboat 'Governor Moore'."

Line engraving published in "The Soldier in Our Civil War", Volume I. It depicts USS Varuna in the center, being rammed by a Confederate ship identified as "Breckinridge" (at left) while engaging CSS Governor Moore (at right) during the battle off Forts Jackson and St. Philip, 24 April 1862.
The side-wheel steamer identified here as "Breckinridge" (General Breckinridge), is more probably the Stonewall Jackson.