The 1861-1865 Civil War Naval Battles ClipArt gallery includes 89 illustrations of naval battles that were fought between the Union and Confederacy during the American Civil War.

"Reconnoissance in the great Ogeechee River, near Ossabaw Sound, Ga., by the ironclad monitor <em>Montauk</em>, Captain Worden, and other Federal gunboats, January 27th, 1863. A reconnoissance in force was made against Fort McAllister, in the Ogeechee River, on January 27th. The ironclad <em>Montauk</em>, the gunboats <em>Seneca, Dawn, Wissahickon</em>, the tug <em>Daffodil</em>, and mortar schooner <em>C. T. Williams</em> participated in the movement. They found it impossible to get within one thousand seven hundred yards of the work on account of the obstruction in the channel. At this distance, however, a sharp fight of several hours duration was indulged in, when the character of the fort and the nature of the channels having been definitely ascertained and a thick fog coming on, operations were suspended for a time. For McAllister was a casemated work, covered with railroad iron, and mounted thirteen guns."&mdash; Frank Leslie, 1896

Ogeechee River

"Reconnoissance in the great Ogeechee River, near Ossabaw Sound, Ga., by the ironclad monitor Montauk,…

The torpedoes used by the Confederates were various in form and construction. The most efficient ones were the galvanic and percussion. The percussion or "sensitive" ones exploded by the act of forcible contact. Some of these were made in the form of a double cone, with percussion tubes arranged around the cylinder thus formed, at the point of contact of the bases of the cones.

Percussion Torpedo

The torpedoes used by the Confederates were various in form and construction. The most efficient ones…

"'The Pirate's Decoy' Captain Semmes, of the Confederate privateer <em>Alabama</em>, decoying ships toward him by burning a prize vessel. The plan that Captain Semmes adopted to bring fish to his net was as follows: Whenever he captured a ship, after taking from her all that he and his officers wanted, he lay by her until dark, and then set her on fire. The light of the burning ship could be seen many miles, and every other ship within seeing distance stood toward the light, thinking to rescue a number of poor fellows from destruction. The pirate kept in the immediate vicinity, awaiting the prey that was sure to come, and the next morning the poor fellows who to serve the cause of humanity had gone many miles out of their course found themselves under the guns of the <em>Alabama</em>, with the certainty that before another twenty-four hours they would share the fate of the ship they went to serve."&mdash; Frank Leslie, 1896

The Pirate's Decoy

"'The Pirate's Decoy' Captain Semmes, of the Confederate privateer Alabama, decoying ships…

"Successful attack of a detachment of the Federal forces, under General Stevens, supported by four gunboats of the fleet, on the Confederate fortifications on and near Port Royal Ferry, January 1st, 1862, landing of the Federal troops on the mainland. The command of this expedition, which was to destroy three batteries erected upon the mainland by the Confederates, before they became too powerful, was given to Brigadier General Isaac J. Stevens, an officer admirably qualified for the position. His staff was composed of Assistant Adjutant General Stevens, Assistant Quartermaster General Lilley, Assistant Commissary General Warfield and Surgeon Kremble. The regiments were: the Roundheads of Pennsylvania, Colonel Lesure; the Fifteenth Pennsylvania, Colonel Christo; Eighth Michgan, Colonel Fenton; Seventy-ninth New York, Colonel Morrison; Forty-seventh New York, Colonel Fraser; and his Forty-eighth New York Volunteers, Colonel Perry. The troops were to be supported and covered by the Gunboats <em>Pembina</em>, Captain Bankhead; <em>Seneca</em>, Captain Ammon; the <em>Ottawa</em>, Captain Stevens, and the <em>Ellen</em>, Captain Budd. These were under the command of Captain Raymond Rogers, of the Flagship <em>Wabash</em>, who embarked on board the <em>Ottawa</em>. The troops were marched from Beaufort during the 31st of December to the north of Brick Yard Creek, the narrowest part of Beaufort, on Port Poyal River, and joining Coosaw River. Here they found flats, barges and boats for their transportation. Early on New Year's morning they crossed, having then five miles to march before they reached Port Royal Ferry." &mdash;Leslie, 1896

Port Royal Ferry

"Successful attack of a detachment of the Federal forces, under General Stevens, supported by four gunboats…

"The bombardment of Fort Pulaski, second day, Friday, April 11th, 1862. General Quincy A. Gilmore took personal command of Tybee Island on the 20th of February, 1862, and at once began construction of earthworks. On the 9th of April everything was in readiness for the bombardment, and early on the following morning a summons for the surrender of Fort Pulaski was sent, through Lieutenant J. H. Wilson, to its commander, Colonel Charles H. Olmstead, by General David Hunter. The surrender having been refused, order was given to immediately open fire. This was done at about eight o'clock on the morning of the 10th, from the two 13-inch mortars in charge of Captain Sanford. The remaining two batteries joined in, and their united fire thundered all day, and was steadily responded to from the fort. The bombardment of the fort was kept up until the next morning, and at daybreak of the 11th the firing again commenced on both sides. The Federal fire was mainly directed against the southeastern portion of the fort, and by two o'clock in the afternoon the breach had become so wide that the arches of the casemate were laid bare. This was followed by the hoisting of a white flag, when firing ceased. The immediate and unconditional surrender of the fort was agreed on."&mdash; Frank Leslie, 1896

Fort Pulaski

"The bombardment of Fort Pulaski, second day, Friday, April 11th, 1862. General Quincy A. Gilmore took…

"The <em>Quaker City</em>, one of the Potomac Flotilla, engaging Confederate dragoons in Lynn Haven Bay, near Cape Henry, Va. The <em>Quaker City</em>, Commander Carr, one of the United States Flotilla of the Potomac, while cruising in Lynn Haven Bay, near Cape Henry, picked up a man named Lynch, a refugee from Norfolk, who represented that the master plumber of the Norfolk Navy Yard was ashore and wished to be taken off. An armed boatd which was sent for the purpose was fired upon when near the shore, mortally wounding James Lloyd, a seaman of Charlestown, Mass. A few 32-pound shells dispersed the Confederates." &mdash; Frank Leslie, 1896

Quaker City

"The Quaker City, one of the Potomac Flotilla, engaging Confederate dragoons in Lynn Haven…

"The Battle of the Rams at Memphis, June 6, 1862."&mdash;E. Benjamin Andrews 1895

Battle of the Rams

"The Battle of the Rams at Memphis, June 6, 1862."—E. Benjamin Andrews 1895

The Red River Campaign or Red River Expedition consisted of a series of battles fought along the Red River in Louisiana during the American Civil War. Pictured here is the fleet passing the dam.

Red River Expedition

The Red River Campaign or Red River Expedition consisted of a series of battles fought along the Red…

"Disabling and capture of the Federal gunboats <em>Sachem</em> and <em>Clifton</em>, in the attack on Sabine Pass, Tex., September 8th, 1863. One of the objects of this expedition was to take Sabine City; and on September 8th Generals Franklin and Weitzel proceeded to the pass, and prepared to enter and land their troops as soon as the enemy's batteries were silenced. The strength and the position of these were known, the pass having been in Federal hands in 1862, yet the only preparation for attack was to send the <em>Clifton</em>, an old Staten Island ferryboat, and the <em>Sachem</em>, an inferior propeller, to attack the batteries, putting on them about one hundred sharpshooters. The vessels advanced firing, but without eliciting a reply till they were well in range, when the batteries opened. The <em>Sachem</em> was soon crippled and forced to strike, while a shell penetrated the boiler of the <em>Clifton</em>, causing an explosion that made her a perfect wreck. Many were killed in the action and by the explosion; some few escaped, but nearly all that survived were made prisoners."&mdash; Frank Leslie, 1896

Sabine

"Disabling and capture of the Federal gunboats Sachem and Clifton, in the attack on…

"Bird's-eye view of the burning of a Confederate schooner in Quantico or Dumfries Creek, Potomac River, on the night of October 11th, 1861. On the 10th of October, 1861, Lieutenant Harrell, commanding the steamer <em>Union</em>, of the Potomac Flotilla, stationed at the mouth of Aquia Creek, learning that the Confederates had fitted out a large schooner in Quantico or Dumfries Creek, and had collected a considerable body of troops there, with the intention of crossing the Potomac, determined that the vessel should be destroyed. He accordingly organized an expedition, and with one boat and two launches entered the mouth of the creek about half-past two o'clock on the morning of the 11th. The schooner was discovered some distance up, in charge of a single sentry, who fled and gave the alarm. She was immediately boarded and set on fire; and when her destruction was rendered certain Lieutenant Harrell's men returned to their boats and pulled again for the steamer. Their position was fully revealed by the light of the burning schooner, and they were fired upon continuously from both banks of the narrow stream, but not one of them was injured, though their clothing in many instances was perforated with bullets. The success of the enterprise was complete."&mdash; Frank Leslie, 1896

Confederate schooner

"Bird's-eye view of the burning of a Confederate schooner in Quantico or Dumfries Creek, Potomac River,…

"Removing sunken schooners from Core Sound, N. C., placed to obstruct the passage of the Federal gunboats, under the superintendence of Captain Hayden, of the New York Submarine Engineering Company. The perverse ingenuity which the Confederates showed in obstructing the channels which led to their strongholds was only exceeded by the persistent ingenuity with which the Federal officers removed them. The Confederates obstructed the channel of Core Sound by sinking schooners; but under the superintendence of Captain Hayden, of the New York Submarine Engineering Company, they were removed by blasting. The shock was perceptibly felt a considerable distance, and it was some time before the water resumed its usual appearance." &mdash;Leslie, 1896

Schooners

"Removing sunken schooners from Core Sound, N. C., placed to obstruct the passage of the Federal gunboats,…

"Second naval battle in Hampton Roads- fight between the Federal ironclad <em>Monitor</em>, of two guns, and the Confederate iron-plated steamers <em>Merrimac, Yorktown</em>, and <em>Jamestown</em>, carrying twenty-four guns, March 9th, 1862. But the gloom that had begun to settle on the fort was greatly dispelled when, toward midnight, an iron marine monster, unlike anything that had ever before been seen on the ocean, made its appearance off the forts. It proved to be the Ericsson iron floating battery of two guns, just from new York. The state of affairs was hastily explained to her commander, and she steamed off to the rescue of the deserted <em>Minnesota</em>. When day dawned the Confederate flotilla, flushed with the success of the previous day, bored down on what was supposed to be an easy prey. the <em>Yorktown</em> and <em>Jamestown</em> drawing least water (The <em>Merrimac</em> evidently afraid of grounding) were ahead, when their course was suddenly stopped by the strange craft, which seemed to have dropped from the clouds. They thought to overcome her easily, and opened fire confidently; but a few of the heavy shot of the <em>Monitor</em>, which battered through and through their iron sides, drove them back in panic behind the gigantic <em>Merrimac</em>, against which the <em>Monitor</em> advanced in turn. And then commenced the most extraordinary naval contest known to history- the first battle between ironclad steamers every fought, and one in which all the appliances of modern skill were brought in conflict. The fight lasted for nearly five hours, when the <em>Yorktown</em> and <em>Jamestown</em> fled up the James River, and the <em>Merrimac</em>, disabled, and in a sinking condition, retreated into Norfolk. The <em>Minnesota</em>, having grounded, was then got off, and the <em>Mintor</em>, a proud proof of the designer's genius and skill, rode undisputed monarch of Hampton waters." &mdash; Frank Leslie, 1896

Second naval battle

"Second naval battle in Hampton Roads- fight between the Federal ironclad Monitor, of two guns,…

"Firing on the schooner <em>Shannon</em>, laden with ice, from the battery on Morris Island, Charleston Harbor, S. C., April 3rd, 1861."&mdash; Frank Leslie, 1896

Shannon

"Firing on the schooner Shannon, laden with ice, from the battery on Morris Island, Charleston…

"Ship Island, near the mouth of the Mississippi- United States war steamer "Mississippi" firing on a Confederate steamer." —Leslie, 1896

Ship Island

"Ship Island, near the mouth of the Mississippi- United States war steamer "Mississippi" firing on a…

Ships at the burning of the White House.

Ship

Ships at the burning of the White House.

Ships at the burning of the White House.

Ship

Ships at the burning of the White House.

"Siege of Island No. 10, on the Mississippi River- night bombardment by the Federal mortar boats, ten o'clock P. M., March 18th, 1862. On the 16th of March, 1862, the mortar fleet and the gunboats, consisting of the <em>Cincinnati, Pittsburg, St. Louis, Silver Wave, Carondelet, Mound City, Conestoga, Louisville, Rob Roy, Alps, Wilson, Lake Erie, Great Western</em> and <em>Torrence</em>, and nine mortar boats, arrived near the Point. These were accompanied by several tugboats. On the 18th they opened fire, which, after some hours' delay, was returned by the Confederate batteries. This continued for several days, with very little loss to the Federal troops, owing to the iron casing of the vessels. The study of mortar firing is very interesting. Our sketch represents the manner in which the smoke rolls, and a small column frequently splits out when the shell passes. The shell itself can be seen at night during its entire flight, the fuse having the appearance of a star, which appears and disappears as the shell rolls through the air, very like the twinkling of the celestial orbs. The explosion of the shell at night is a magnificent and fearful sight, sending a glow of surpassing brightness around it as though some world of combustible light had burst." &mdash; Frank Leslie, 1896

Siege of Island

"Siege of Island No. 10, on the Mississippi River- night bombardment by the Federal mortar boats, ten…

"The Confederate privateer steamer <em>Alabama</em> (290). Captain Raphael Semmes. Our illustration of the <em>Alabama</em> was taken from a photograph while she was at Liverpool, where she was facetiously termed the Emperor of China's yacht. The <em>Alabama</em> was built at Birkenhead; she was about 1,200 tons burden, with draught of about 14 feet; her engines built by Laird & Sons, of Birkenhead, 1862. She was a wooden vessel propelled by a screw, copper bottom, about 210 feet long, rather narrow, painted black outside and drab inside; had a round stern, billethead, very little sheer, flushed deck fore and aft; a bridge forward of the smokestack; carried two large black boats on cranes amidships forward of the main rigging; two black quarter boats between the main and mizzen masts, one small black boat over the stern on cranes; the square spars on a gallows between the bridge and foremast showed above the rail. She carried three long 32-pounders on a side, and was pierced for two more amidships; had a 100-pound rifled pivot gun forward of the bridge, and a 68-pound pivot on the main track; had tracks laid forward for a pivot bow gun, and tracks aft for a pivot stern chaser; her guns were of the Blakely pattern, and were manufactured by Wesley & Preston, Liverpool, 1862. She took her armament and crew and most of her officers on board near Terceira. Wester Islands, from an English vessel. Her commander was Raphael Semmes."&mdash; Frank Leslie, 1896

Steamer Alabama

"The Confederate privateer steamer Alabama (290). Captain Raphael Semmes. Our illustration…

A torpedo boat is a relatively small and fast naval ship designed to carry torpedoes into battle.<br>Top: A, platform; B, torpedo; C, water tight pine box; D, pin to be drawn.<br>Lower: A, vessel at anchor; B, her cable; E, F, two torpedoes; C, D, the coupling lines.

Torpedo Boat

A torpedo boat is a relatively small and fast naval ship designed to carry torpedoes into battle. Top:…

The steam-vessels were protected by torpedo-nets formed of ropes weighted with iron or lead, and furnished with hooks to catch the little submarine mines. These nets were hung from spars placed athwart the bowsprit in front of the vessel, and sometimes in like manner along its sides.

Torpedo Net

The steam-vessels were protected by torpedo-nets formed of ropes weighted with iron or lead, and furnished…

The USS <em>Carondelet</em> was a City class ironclad gunboat constructed for the Union Navy by James B. Eads during the Civil War.

USS Carondelet

The USS Carondelet was a City class ironclad gunboat constructed for the Union Navy by James…

The sinking Varuna, a Union ship.

The Last Broadside of the Varuna

The sinking Varuna, a Union ship.

"The Masquerade of War. Ingenious method of disgusting the masts and hulls of Commodore Porter's morter flotilla with boughs of trees, etc., to deceive the Confederate artillerists. In order to diminish the Confederate chances of hitting the Federal mortar boats, the masts were dressed with evergreens. Eighteen grim vessels of war were thus converted into shady bowers- a tree lashed to each masthead, interlacing its branches with the rigging, jutting out into queer-looking arbors. Three of the mortar vessels being stationed on the east bank to operate gainst Fort St. Philip, a different 'disguise' was adopted, since to dress them up arborically would be only to render them the more conspicuous. The sides of these vessels were therefore covered with a shaggy wall of aquatic growth, and really looked like a continuation of the marsh. Anything more characteristic of Yankee invention was never beheld."&mdash; Frank Leslie, 1896

Masquerade of War

"The Masquerade of War. Ingenious method of disgusting the masts and hulls of Commodore Porter's morter…

"The ironclad <em>Weehawken</em> returning to fire a parting shot at Fort Sumter, after the bombardment, April 7th, 1863."&mdash; Frank Leslie, 1896

Weehawken

"The ironclad Weehawken returning to fire a parting shot at Fort Sumter, after the bombardment,…

Naval battle between the Union Weehawken and Confederate Atlanta.

Action between the Weehawken and Confederate Iron-clad Atlanta

Naval battle between the Union Weehawken and Confederate Atlanta.

"Fire raft sent down from Fort Jackson to destroy the Federal fleet below the fort- the boats of the squadron, with grapnels, buckets, etc. and the ferryboat "Westfield," towing it away from the Federal vessels. On April 17th, 1862, as the fire raft came on, the ferryboat "Westfield" ran into it, and then rapidly backing, poured a tremendous stream of water from a hose at the burning mass as it slowly floated down the river. The "Westfield" was assisted by numerous boats from the fleet, who used their buckets and boathoks to guide it safely away from the vessels at anchor. After a long and desperate conflict with the floating and fiery mass the brave Federal tars triumphed, the fire was extinguished, and only a mass of blackened and half-burned timber remained." &mdash; Frank Leslie, 1896

Westfield

"Fire raft sent down from Fort Jackson to destroy the Federal fleet below the fort- the boats of the…

"Wharf boat at Carrollton, Ill. opposite Hawesville, Ky."&mdash; Frank Leslie, 1896

Wharf boat

"Wharf boat at Carrollton, Ill. opposite Hawesville, Ky."— Frank Leslie, 1896

"Desperate naval combat between the Confederate iron-plated ram <em>Arkansas</em> and the Federal gunboat <em>Carondelet</em>, at the mouth of the Yazoo River, Tuesday, July 15th, 1862. Next to the ever-memorable combat between the <em>Merrimac</em> and the <em>Monitor</em>, that of the <em>Carondelet</em> and the <em>Arkansas</em> was the most exciting. Like the former engagement, it ended in a drawn battle. On July 14th, 1862, the gunboats <em>Carondelet</em> and <em>Tyler</em> were sent by Commodore Farragut to survey the Yazoo River and ascertain the exact condition of the Confederate iron-plated ram <em>Arkansas</em>, about which there were various reports. They arrived at the mouth of the Yazoo, fifteen miles above Vicksburg, at seven o'clock in the evening, and anchored for the night. Next morning at daylight they tipped anchor and slowly steamed up the Yazoo, the <em>Tyler</em> considerably in advance. About two miles up the river smoke was seen across a little point of land, which, as Captain Gwin of the <em>Tyler</em> surmised, proceeded from the Confederate ram, now rapidly steaming toward the <em>Tyler</em>. In another moment a heavy report was heard from the enigmatical gunboat, and a huge round shot went howling over the deck of the <em>Tyler</em>. Captain Walke of the <em>Carondelet</em> ordered the <em>Tyler</em> to proceed with all speed to alarm the fleet and advise it to prepare for her approach while he engaged the Confederate monster. In ten minutes afterward the <em>Carondelet</em> and <em>Arkansas</em> were alongside each other, and the conflict commenced in earnest. The <em>Carondelet</em> commenced with her bow guns, striking her opponent with a rapidity and precision which the enormous strength of the iron plating alone prevented taking immediate effect. The <em>Arkansas</em> used in return her rifled and guns with terrible effect, some of the shots going right through the <em>Carondelet</em>. Seeing her inability to cope with her antagonist, Captain Walke ran the <em>Carondelet</em> alongside the <em>Arkansas</em> and grappled her. The order "Boarders away!" was instantly passed, and the crew of the Federal gunboat speedily mounted the deck of its adversary. When there they found no foe to engage. The crew of the Arkansas had retired below, and the iron hatches were closed, so that it was uttlerly impossible to go down and continue the action." &mdash;Leslie, 1896

Combat at Yazoo River

"Desperate naval combat between the Confederate iron-plated ram Arkansas and the Federal gunboat…

"A detachment of United States sailors from the gunboats <em>Albatross</em> and <em>Gemsbok</em> burning the contraband vessel <em>York</em>. Mouth of Rogue's inlet, near Beaufort, N. C., January 23rd, 1862." &mdash;Leslie, 1896

Burning of York

"A detachment of United States sailors from the gunboats Albatross and Gemsbok burning…