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CSS FREDERICKSBURG (1864)

Built: Richmond, Virginia

Commissioned: March, 1864

Service: James River Squadron, 1864-1865

Home Port: Richmond, Virginia

Dimensions: 188' Length, 40' Beam, 9' Draft

Armor: 6" iron with wood backing

Armament: 1x11" Brooke Smoothebore, 3x7" Brooke Rifles

Engines: Twin Screw

Speed: 4-5 Knots

Crew: 125

Fate: Destroyed to prevent capture in April, 1865.



Summary

Fredericksburg was an elarged diamond casemate design, somewhat influenced by the design of Albemarle (some sources, in fact, call her an "enlarged Albemarle type.") She was typical of late war Confederate ironclads both in her layout and in her significantly upgraded armor protection compared to earlier ironclad designs. Some historians have called Fredericksburg the best designed ironclad of the James River Squadron. She was the second ironclad to be completed at the Confederate naval yard in Richmond.

Fredericksburg served her entire career on the James river. She was principally concerned with the defense of Richmond. Her actions included skirmishes with and bombardment of Union land forces, as well as a number of indecisive engagements with Union riverine warships. Her most notable action occurred at the Battle of Trent's Reach in January, 1865, where she was, according to one source, the only Confederate ironclad not to run aground at some point during the battle. This was, in and of itself, the best known of several engagements in and around Trent's Reach, all of them equally indecisive for both sides.

In April, 1865, with the fall of Richmond, Fredericksburg was destroyed to prevent her capture.

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