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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

CSS Governor Moore

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Sidewheel Gunboat:
  • Built in 1854 as the schooner-rigged, low pressure, walking beam-engined, seagoing steamer SS Charles Morgan, for the Southern SS CO.
  • Seized at New Orleans by Brigadier General Mansfield Lovell, CSA, in mid-January 1862
  • Renamed CSS Governor Moore prepared for military service by having her stem reinforced for ramming by two strips of flat railroad iron at the waterline and cotton-bale barricades to protect her boilers
  • During the Civil War CSS Governor Moore participated in the defense of New Orleans, 24 April 1862, ramming and forcing USS Varuna aground during the battle off Forts Jackson and St. Philip.
  • Next attacking USS Cayuga off Forts Jackson and St. Philip Governor Moore was raked by fire from the Union flotilla. With practically her whole upper hamper shot away and 64 men dead or dying, she went out of command, drifting helplessly to shore, where her captain, pilot, and a seaman set her afire.
    Displacement 1,215 t.
    Length unknown
    Beam unknown
    Depth of Hold unknown
    Draft unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement 93
    Armament two 32-pdr rifles
    Propulsion steam

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Governor Moore 254k Namesake Thomas Overton Moore, the 17th Governor of Louisiana, served from 1856 to 1860. He was elected over Thomas Jefferson Wells by a wide margin. Moore remained governor during a three month period after Louisiana succeeded from the United States and before Louisiana joined the Confederacy. He was thus the 17th Governor of the State of Louisiana, only Governor of the independent territory of Louisiana and the 1st Governor of the Confederate State of Louisiana for three years. He supported secession and was devoted to the Confederate States of America. After the war broke out, he encouraged enlistment in the Southern armed forces and supplied 8,000 men to the Confederate Army--5,000 more than President Jefferson Davis requested. Born on April 10, 1804 in North Carolina, he died on June 25, 1876 near Alexandria, La. Thomas Moore had limited public education yet prospered after moving to Louisiana in 1829. He became a plantation owner, was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives and then to the Senate. In 1853 he was elected Governor of Louisiana. Moore ordered the seizing of all Federal facilities in Louisiana in anticipation of war after Lincoln was elected as President. He proposed the convention that soon passed the Ordinance of Secession of Louisiana. He became the 1st governor of Confederate Louisiana after New Orleans was easily captured in 1862. George Foster Shepley was appointed military governor of the Union held territories of Louisiana. Moore's Rapides Parish home was burned by union forces during the war. Near the end, he fled to Mexico to avoid arrest. Through the intercession of William Tecumseh Sherman, he was eventually pardoned by President Andrew Johnson and returned home to rebuild his property. Buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Pineville, he has top billing on a cenotaph shared with the Hayes and Hyams families. Image courtesy of the Duke University Digital Collections Text from the office of the Louisiana Secretary of State Bill Gonyo
    Governor Moore 75k The Confederate cotton-clad gunboat CSS Governor Moore. Tommy Trampp
    Governor Moore 75k Sepia wash drawing by R.G. Skerrett, 1904, depicting CSS Governor Moore during her brief service as a Confederate cotton-clad gunboat on the lower Mississippi River.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 57818, courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC.
    Bill Gonyo
    Governor Moore 117k Drawing of CSS Governor Moore from the book “History of the Confederate States Navy from Its Organization to the Surrender of Its Last Vessel”. (1887) by John Thomas Scharf. Bill Gonyo
    Governor Moore 95k "Engagement between the U.S. Gunboat 'Varuna' and the Confederate Ram 'Breckinridge' and Gunboat 'Governor Moore'." Line engraving published in "The Soldier in Our Civil War", Volume I. It depicts USS Varuna in the center, being rammed by a Confederate ship identified as "Breckinridge" (at left) while engaging CSS Governor Moore (at right) during the battle off Forts Jackson and St. Philip, 24 April 1862. The side-wheel steamer identified here as "Breckinridge" (General Breckinridge), is more probably the CSS Stonewall Jackson.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 57077.
    Bill Gonyo
    Governor Moore 70k "Fight between the 'Varuna' and the 'Governor Moore'." Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting USS Varuna sinking at right, after she was rammed by CSS Governor Moore during the battle off Forts Jackson and St. Philip, 24 April 1862. Governor Moore is shown at left, beached and burning after being severely damaged by the Union fleet.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59076.
    Bill Gonyo
    Governor Moore
    180k CSS Governor Moore beached after the fight off New Orleans, 24 April 1862.
    Image appeared in Century Magazine book "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War Vol II," p.86, edited by Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buel. 31 July 1887.
    Robert Hurst
    Governor Moore
    124k CSS Governor Moore beached and in flames, 24 April 1862. The Union ships are from left to right:
    USS Oneida
    USS Pinola
    the sunken USS Varuna
    USS Iroquois and in the foreground
    USS Pensacola.
    Drawing from an 1888 Century Company New York Publication
    Tommy Trampp

    CSS Governor Moore
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)

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    Last Updated 13 November 2020