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CSS Florida

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CSS Florida

CSS Florida

Photograph Courtesy of the US Navy

CSS Florida

  • Nation: Confederate
  • Type: Screw Sloop
  • Displacement: ?
  • Crew: 146
  • Wartime Service Dates: 1862-1864
  • Civil War Armament: 6 x 6-inch rifles, 2 x 7-inch rifles, 1 x 12-pdr gun
  • Notes: Built in Liverpool, England under the name Oreto, CSS Florida was commissioned into Confederate service on August 17, 1863, with Lt. John N. Maffitt in command. During the first eight months of 1863, Florida terrorized Union shipping in the Atlantic and Caribbean, capturing 22 prizes. Florida then proceeded to Brest, France where it underwent a lengthy refit. Putting back sea in February 1864, with Lt. Charles Morris commanding, the raider captured 11 more Union ships before reaching Bahia, Brazil. While at Bahia, Florida was attacked, captured, and towed to sea by USS Wachusett while Morris and most of the crew were ashore. Though the capture occurred in a neutral port and protests were made, no action was ever taken against Wachusett's captain, Commander Napoleon Collins. That November, Florida sank near Hampton Roads, VA after being accidently rammed by a transport. All told, the raider captured 37 ships, second only to CSS Alabama.
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