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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

CSS Chameleon
CSS Olustee
CSS Tallahassee

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Screw Steamer:
  • Built, date unknown, as the twin-screw ferry Atalanta by J. & W. Dudgeon, Millwall, London England for the Chatham & Dover Railway Co.
  • Purchased at Wilmington, N. C. by the Confederate States Navy in 1864
  • Commissioned CSS Tallahassee, date unknown, CDR. John Taylor Wood, CSN in command
  • Tallahassee passed through the blockade as a Confederate Navy ship for the first time, 6 August 1864, beginning 19-day raid off the Atlantic coast
  • Unable to procure enough coal to continue, CDR. Wood was forced to return to Wilmington 26 August
  • During this short cruise Tallahassee destroyed 26 vessels and captured 7 others which were bonded or released
  • Renamed CSS Olustee, LT. W. H. Ward, CSN in command, she ran the blockade off Wilmington again, 29 October, capturing and destroying six ships before returning to Wilmington, 7 November
  • Olustee's battery was removed and she was renamed CSS Chameleon, date unknown, LT. J. Wilkinson, CSN, in command
  • Chameleon ran through the blockade, 24 December 1864, and proceeded to Bermuda to obtain provisions for the Confederate army
  • Finding it impossible to enter a southern port Wilkinson took Chameleon to Liverpool, England, turning her over to CDR. J. D. Bullock, CSN, financial agent of the Confederate Navy Department
  • Chameleon arrived at Liverpool, 9 April 1865 and was seized and sold by British authorities
  • The United States instituted suit for possession and he was awarded to the United States Government and handed over to the consul at Liverpool, 26 April 1866
  • Sold to a Japanese Shipping company in March 1867, renamed SS Haya Maru
  • Final Disposition, Haya Maru sank 27 June 1869
    Displacement 500 t.
    Length 220'
    Beam 24'
    Depth of Hold 14'
    Draft unknown
    Speed 17 kts.
    Complement 120
    one 32-pdr rifled cannon, forward
    one 100-pdr rifled cannon, amidship
    0ne 30-pdr heavy Parrott gun, aft
    one brass howitzer
    two 100 ihp steam engines
    twin propellers

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    Size Image Description Source
    Tallahassee 95k CSS Tallahassee anchored at Halifax, Nova Scotia, during August 1864, while raiding United States' Atlantic coast shipping.
    Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 92697

    CSS Tallahassee / CSS Olustee / CSS Chameleon
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Wikipedia - CSS Tallahassee
    CSS Tallahassee The Confederate Naval Historical Society ~ 4 - Newsletter Number Six, February 1991
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Old Navy" Steam and Sail Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 23 September 2016