Today in History:

Governor Moore (1862)

CSS Governor Moore, a 1215-ton side-wheel "cotton-clad" ram, was originally the civilian steamship Charles Morgan, which had been built at New York in 1854. Seized at New Orleans in January 1862, she was converted to a warship by the State of Louisiana and attached to the Confederacy's Mississippi River Defense Fleet. During the night battle off Forts Jackson and St. Philip, below New Orleans on 24 April 1862, she twice rammed the Federal gunboat Varuna, an assault which, with the support of CSS Stonewall Jackson, sank the Varuna. Governor Moore then attacked USS Cayuga but was badly battered by gunfire from the Federal fleet. She lost a large number of her crew and went ashore, where she was burned to avoid capture.

This page features our only views of CSS Governor Moore.

Photo #: NH 57818

CSS Governor Moore (1862)

Sepia wash drawing by R.G. Skerrett, 1904, depicting the ship during her brief service as a Confederate cotton-clad gunboat on the lower Mississippi River.

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.

Photo #: NH 59076

"Fight between the 'Varuna' and the 'Governor Moore'."

Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting USS Varuna sinking at right, after she was rammed by CSS Governor Moore during the battle off Forts Jackson and St. Philip, 24 April 1862.
The Governor Moore is shown at left, beached and burning after being severely damaged by the Union fleet.