Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Confederate States Navy (CSN)

view all


  • Lt. John Maxwell Stribling (1835 - 1862)
    went down with the ship just off the coast of Montrose and his body washed ashore. his grave is marked as Unknown Seaman 1862Find A Grave contributor Elreeta Weathers has furnished the following inform...
  • Captain Joseph Nicholson Barney (1818 - 1899)
    Joseph Nicholson Barney (1818 – June 16, 1899) was a career United States Navy officer (1835–1861) who served in the Confederate States Navy in the American Civil War (1861–1865).
  • Colonel William Leslie Black (CSA) (1843 - 1931)
    William Leslie (Colonel) Black, soldier, cattleman, author, businessman, adventurer, and promoter of Angora goats, the son of Charles and Agnes (Sewell) Black, was born in New Orleans in 1843. His fath...
  • William Herbert Beazley (1837 - 1919)
    , WILLIAM HERBERT (1837–1919). William Herbert Beazley, Confederate Army and Navy officer, physician, and advisor to the Coushatta Indians, was born on October 30, 1837, six miles east of Vicksburg, Mi...
  • Capt. Daniel Murray Lee, CSN (1843 - 1916)
    Daniel Murray Lee b. on July 14, 1843 in Alexandria, Va. Virginia Military Institute, Class of 1867. Joined Confederate States Navy in July 1861 as Acting Midshipman. On June 2, 1863 to Midshipman. In ...

The Navy of the Confederate States (CSN) was the naval branch of the Confederate States armed forces, established by an act of the Confederate Congress on February 21, 1861. It was responsible for Confederate naval operations during the American Civil War.

The three major tasks of the Confederate Navy during the whole of its existence were the protection of Southern harbors and coastlines from outside invasion, making the war costly for the United States by attacking U.S. merchant ships worldwide and breaking the Union Blockade by drawing off U.S. Navy ships in pursuit of the Confederate raiders.

The Confederate States Navy could never achieve equality with the Union Navy, so it used technological innovation, such as ironclads, submarines, torpedo boats, and naval mines (then known as torpedoes) to gain advantage. In February 1861 the Confederate Navy had 30 vessels, only 14 of which were seaworthy. The Union Navy had 90 vessels. The C. S. Navy eventually grew to 101 ships to meet the rise in naval threats and conflicts.

On 20 April 1861 the Union was forced to quickly abandon the important Gosport Navy Yard at Norfolk, Virginia. In their haste they failed to effectively burn the facility with its large depots of arms and other supplies, and several small vessels. As a result, the Confederacy captured much needed war materials, including heavy cannon, gunpowder, shot, and shell. Of most importance to the Confederacy was the shipyard‍ '​s dry docks, hardly damaged by the departing Union forces. The Confederacy‍ '​s only substantial navy yard with at that time was in Pensacola, Florida, so the Norfolk Yard was sorely needed to build new warships. The most significant warship left at the Yard was the screw frigate USS Merrimack.

The U. S. Navy had torched Merrimack‍ '​s superstructure and upper deck, then scuttled the vessel; it would have been immediately useful as a warship to their enemy. Little of the ship's structure remained other than the hull, which was holed by the scuttling charge but otherwise intact. Confederate Navy Secretary Stephen Mallory had the idea to raise Merrimack and rebuild it. When the hull was raised, it had not been submerged long enough to have been rendered unusable; the steam engines and essential machinery were salvageable. The decks were rebuilt using thick oak and pine planking, and the upper deck was overlaid with two courses of heavy iron plate. The newly rebuilt superstructure was unusual: above the waterline the sides sloped inward and were covered with two layers of heavy iron-plate armor.

The vessel was a new kind of warship, an all-steam powered "iron-clad". In the centuries-old tradition of reusing captured ships, the new ship was christened CSS Virginia. She later fought the Union‍ '​s new ironclad USS Monitor. On the second day of the Battle of Hampton Roads, the two ships met and each scored numerous hits on the other. (On the first day of that battle the Virginia, and the James River Squadron, aggressively attacked and nearly broke the Union Navy‍ '​s sea blockade of wooden warships, proving the effectiveness of the ironclad concept.) The two ironclads had steamed forward, tried to outflank or ram the other, circled, backed away, and came forward firing again and again, but neither was able to sink or demand surrender of its opponent. After four hours both ships were taking in water through split seams and breaches by enemy shot. The engines of both were becoming dangerously overtaxed, and their crews were near exhaustion. The two ships turned and steamed away, never to meet again. This part in the Battle of Hampton Roads between Monitor and Virginia greatly overshadowed the bloody events their nations' ground troops were fighting, largely because it was the first battle in history between two iron-armored steam-powered warships.

The last Confederate surrender took place in Liverpool, England on 6 November 1865 aboard the commerce raider CSS Shenandoah when her flag (battle ensign) was lowered for the final time. This surrender brought about the end of the Confederate Navy. The Shenandoah had circumnavigated the globe, the only Confederate ship to do so.