June 16, 1863
The CSS Nashville, built in Montgomery, was one of the last ironclads the Confederacy built during the Civil War. It also was one of the last major Confederate ships to see action before the end of the war, and probably the only ironclad built in Montgomery. The Nashville was outfitted with the era’s most advanced naval armaments. After launch, the Nashville traveled down the Alabama River to the Navy yard at Selma, where the CSS Tennessee had been built, for further outfitting. The ship then was towed to Mobile. To cross the Dog River Bar with just 10 feet of water, the Nashville was equipped with flotation devices known as camels. The Nashville arrived in Mobile Bay on June 16, 1863, where it was scheduled to be clad stem to stern in iron plating. Plating was scarce, though, and the vessel never received a complete outfit of armor plate before the war’s end. The ship was also to be fitted with a 24-pounder howitzer and seven Brooke rifled guns cast in Selma, the Civil War’s most advanced naval ordnance. Because of the slope of the ship’s armor, the Nashville required longer guns. The iron works in Selma was able to complete only three.
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