Full Scale Ship
The most recent step in the development of the National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus is the completion of the USS Water Witch. This full-scale ship representation is situated between the museum and Victory Drive (Hwy 280/27). The commissioning of the completed USS Water Witch represents one of the most exciting events in Civil War Naval History.
Educational Platform and New Landmark
The ship is the latest phase to our new educational program platform. In addition, it also acts as a new landmark for Columbus, Georgia, an icon for South Commons, the Gateway to Columbus South and a ‘larger than life’ signpost for Port Columbus.
A Short History of the Water Witch
The USS Water Witch was a U.S. side-wheel steamship used in a variety of pre-war roles, including extensive surveying in South America. While in Paraguay, the ship was fired upon, killing one crew member and spurring an international incident. During the war, the Water Witch again served in a variety of roles, including supply ship, mail ship and eventually, as part of the U.S. blockading fleet off of Savannah, GA. While stationed at Savannah, the ship was captured by Confederate Naval forces in a daring nighttime raid. Among the first killed in the battle were the leader of the raiding party, Lt. Thomas Pelot and the slave pilot, Moses Dallas, who was supposed to guide the ship after the raid. Without the pilot, though the raid was successful, the Confederates were unable to utilize the ship as they had hoped, and kept the ship hidden for several months before sinking it to prevent recapture by Union forces. USS Water Witch History: Pre War USS Water Witch History: Battle and Capture USS Water Witch History: Aftermath of Capture
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Water Witch Web Cam on Victory Drive in Columbus, Georgia (facing West).