CSS Georgia

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Archeological evaluation of CSS Georgia
CSS Georgia Website Homepage
Civil War Iron Clad C.S.S. Georgia
4. Confederate Ships--CSS Georgia (1863-1864)
SRC Project Display

The CSS Georgia is a Confederate Ironclad that was scuttled in the Savannah River during General Sherman's Union army advance into the City of Savannah. Originally built by the citizens of Savannah, it was designed to defend the city from the Union Navy and is thought to have delayed the captured of Savannah.

Georgia: Built at Savannah GA. Launched 20 May 62. Commissioned Jul 62. Called the "Ladies' Ram," as she was partially built through funds collected by the women of Savannah. Fitted with weak engines; additionally, a beam from the ways may have adhered to the hull at launch, causing too much drag for the ship to be handled.
Served as floating battery, stationed for a time at Elba Island, then at Fort James Jackson in a special crib to allow warping to bring the broadside to bear. Provided boats and men for capture of USS Water Witch 4 Jun 64.
Scuttled to prevent capture 20 Dec 64; went down very rapidly. Superstructure broken by dredging in 1868. Remains located 1969 about 200 yards off of Old Fort Jackson near the ship channel. Two cannons, 75 shells, crockery, and tools recovered by divers, on display at Old Fort Jackson and the Savannah History Museum. Her casemate is more or less intact in the river below the city, though it is in danger of sliding into the main shipping lane and the Army Corps of Engineers is threatening to destroy the wreck unless salvaged. The wreckage extending above the sediments is comprised of bent and twisted railroad rails (two layers) and rusted pieces of casemate which once formed her iron shell.

Lt. Thomas P. Pelot, resigned from the U.S. Navy (Union) (61) and entered the C.S.N. in March 61
Served on the C.S.S Georgia (62-64). He was killed in action on June 3, 1864. Pelots young age and the importance of the Georgia commission was the cause for his replacement by Lt. Washington Gwathmey

Lt. Washington Gwathmey. Dismissed from the U.S. Navy (Union) on April 17,1861 and entered the C.S.N on April 20, 1861. Relieved Lt. Thomas P. Pelot as commander on July 23, 1863 until scuttling. Served on the C.S.S Georgia (63-64).

Iron Clad type: Casemate ram
Dimensions: Length 250', beam 60', draft 12'
Displacement: 1,000 +- tons
Speed: Immobile
Crew: 12 officers, 82 men. muster
Armor: Two layers of T-rails, about 4"
Armament: Varied; ten guns planned, but usually only two 9" and three 32# smoothbores




(2006)  Fort Jackson, Savannah, GA.
View looking toward the Savannah River and the buoy marking the wreck of the CSS Georgia


(2006) Enlarge Close-up of the CSS Georgia marker buoy from Fort Jackson


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