CSS Albemarle

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An ironclad ship built as a ram in the Roanoke River at Edwards Ferry, North Carolina, in 1863–4. Her construction, far from any shipyard, reflected considerable credit on Commander J. W. Cooke of the Confederate States Navy, formerly of the US Navy, who supervised it. He and his assistants scoured the surrounding country for iron, and built her from the miscellaneous materials gathered together. She was commissioned on 17 April 1864 and two days later, at Plymouth, New England, she rammed and sank the USS Southfield and forced three other Federal vessels to withdraw. The immediate effect was to yield the town of Plymouth to Confederate forces. On 5 May the Albemarle, accompanied by a converted vessel captured from the Federal Army, attacked Union vessels below Plymouth, suffering slight damage. She was taken back up the river and was torpedoed there and sunk with a spar torpedo by an improvised torpedo boat in October 1864.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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