Today in History:

McRae (1861-1862)

CSS McRae, a 680-ton screw gunboat, was formerly the Mexican Marquis de la Habana. Captured in 1860 by the U.S. Navy as a suspected pirate, she was purchased by the Confederate Government a year later and placed in service to help defend New Orleans. Under the command of Lieutenant Thomas B. Huger, McRae protected blockade runners as they left and arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi and took part in an engagement with Federal blockaders on 12 October 1861. During the 24 April 1862 naval battle near Forts Jackson and Saint Philip, she gave a good account of herself, but was badly damaged and her commander mortally wounded. Sent to New Orleans under flag of truce on 27 April, CSS McRae sank after her arrival there.

This page features our only views of the Confederate gunboat McRae.

Photo #: NH 48178

CSS McRae (1861-1862)

Photograph of a 19th Century watercolor.

Photo #: NH 46483

CSS McRae (1861-1862)

Photograph published in Francis T. Miller's "The Photographic History of the Civil War", 1911.

Courtesy of Frederick Way, Jr., 1941.