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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Selma
CSS Selma (1862 - 1864)
CSS Florida (I) (1861 - 1862)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Sidewheel Gunboat:
  • Built as the civilian coastal steamer SS Florida in 1856 at Mobile, AL.
  • Acquired by the Confederacy in June, cut down and strengthened by hog frames and armed as a gunboat
  • CSS Florida is cited on 12 November 1861 as already in commission and serving Commodore Rollins' New Orleans defense flotilla under command of LT. Charles W. Hays, CSN
  • Renamed CSS Selma in July 1862, LT. Peter U. Murphy, CSN, assuming command
  • Florida/Selma served in the New Orleans, Lake Ponchartrain, Mississippi Sound and Mobile Bay areas throughout her career
  • During the Battle of Mobile Bay, CSS Selma was forced to surrender to USS Metacomet, 5 August 1864
  • Selma lost 7 killed and 8 wounded, including her captain.
  • Immediately taken into US Navy service as USS Selma
  • Decommissioned, 16 July 1865 and sold at New Orleans, redocumented for merchant service, 17 August 1865
  • Final Disposition, SS Selma foundered off the mouth of the Brazos River, TX., 24 June 1868
    Displacement 320 t.
    Length 252'
    Beam 30'
    Draft 6'
    Depth of Hold 6'
    Speed 9 kts
    Complement 65 to 94
    two 9" smoothbores
    one 8" smoothbore
    one 6.4" rifle
    Propulsion steam

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Selma 143k Illustration of CSS Selma from the book "An Illustrated Guide to the Fighting Vessels of the Union and the Confederacy", by Kevin J. Dougherty, 2013 Tommy Trampp
    Selma 84k Sketch of CSS Selma photographed by T. Lilienthal, New Orleans, LA.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 511 courtesy of the Philibrick Collection, Kittery, ME.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Selma 121k Engraving by Winham, "from a War-time sketch", published in "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War", Volume IV, page 394, depicts the capture of CSS Selma by USS Metacomet in Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 42219
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Selma 153k "Battle of Mobile Bay, August 5, 1864"
    Reproduction of an 1864 pen & ink drawing by George S. Waterman, C.S.N., depicting the action as seen from above and inside the entrance to Mobile Bay. Confederate ships present are (as identified on the drawing);
    CSS Selma
    CSS Morgan
    CSS Gaines (shown twice, in the battle line, and beached off Fort Morgan after the battle) and
    CSS Tennessee. Union monitors shown are (from the front of the line);
    (sinking after striking a mine),
    USS Manhattan
    USS Winnebago and
    USS Chickasaw. The leading two steam sloops in the Union line are
    USS Brooklyn and
    USS Hartford. Small diagram in the lower right represents the various efforts by Union ships to ram Tennessee later in the action.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 42392
    Robert Hurst
    Metacomet 228k Wood-cut engraving titled "The Rebel Gun-Boat [CSS Selma] surrendering to the United States Steamer [USS Metacomet]", published in "Harper's Weekly" September 1864. Tommy Trampp

    CSS Florida / CSS Selma
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    USS Selma
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    011st. LT. Shepperd, Francis Edgar, CSNApril 1861 - ?CSS Florida
    02LT. Hays, Charles W., CSN1861 - ?CSS Florida
    031st. LT. Murphey Peter Umstead, CSNJuly 1862 - 5 August 1864CSS Selma
    011st. LT. Yates Arthur R., USN5 August 1864 - 1 January 1865USS Selma
    021st. ENS. Vance, Lewis R., USN1 March 1865 - 1 April 1865USS Selma
    031st. ACT. MASTER Allen, John H., USN15 May 1865 - July 1865USS Selma
    Courtesy Bill Gonyo

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    Last Updated 13 September 2019