River Warrior, Milltown Protector
The CSS Chattahoochee was built to protect the growing manufacturing center of Columbus, Georgia. Its far inland location made it an ideal location for manufacturing uniforms, shoes, accoutrements, swords, firearms, and ships.
To protect this valuable base, the Confederate Navy contracted to have the gunboat CSS Chattahoochee built in Saffold, Georgia, just north of the Florida border.
In May of 1863, she suffered a terrible boiler explosion near Blountstown, Florida in the Apalachicola River killing 19 crewmen onboard the ship. The wreck was recovered and brought back to Columbus in January of 1864 and underwent repairs.
This steam powered sailing ship was stationed at the Navy Yard in Columbus and was sunk by her own Confederate Naval officers in April, 1865, to keep the ship from falling into Union hands. In the early 1960’s the ship was discovered and a part of the hull brought back to Columbus along with the original steam engines built at the Naval Ironworks. This ship represents the only Confederate Navy gunboat to survive the war.