Firing the Brooke Rifle
The massive gun from the
C.S.S. Jackson is fired from
time to time, shaking the
entire downtown area.
(Courtesy of Ashley Pollette)
Cannon from the Jackson
This massive Brooke rifle
was part of the planned
armament of the
Jackson. - National Civil War Naval Museum, GA - National Civil War Naval Museum, GA
National Civil War Naval Museum - Columbus, Georgia
National Civil War Naval Museum
The wreck of the C.S.S. Jackson, a massive Civil
War ironclad, can be seen at Port Columbus.
Civil War History in Columbus
Overlooking the Chattahoochee River in
Columbus, Georgia, the National Civil War
Naval Museum houses once of the most
fascinating displays of historic material in the

Established to preserve the wrecks of two
Confederate warships recovered from the
Chattahoochee, the museum has grown into
one of the finest Civil War facilities in the
country. In addition to the wrecks of the
C.S.S. Chattahoochee and ironclad
C.S.S. Jackson, the museum now houses
partial reconstructions of Admiral Farragut's
flagship, the
U.S.S. Hartford, the famed
C.S.S. Albemarle and a full-size
reproduction of the
U.S.S. Waterwitch.

Other exhibits include a large collection of
Civil War cannon, uniforms, weapons and
other artifacts relating to the Confederate and
Union Navies.

The most impressive artifact in the museum
is the massive wreck of the
C.S.S. Jackson.
This huge ironclad was nearing completion
when Union troops attacked Columbus in the
last days of the Civil War. Nearly 225 feet
long and 54 feet wide, the
Jackson weighed
2000 tons and was the largest ironclad built
from the hull up by the Confederacy.

The giant vessel was tied up dockside for
final fitting when Union troops won the
of Columbus and captured the city. The
Federals set the ship on fire and set her
adrift on the Chattahoochee. She burned to
the waterline and sank into the mud on the
bottom of the river, where she remained until

On display next to the
Jackson is the stern
section of the Confederate warship
. Built at Safford, Georgia, she
was an active defender of the Apalachicola,
Chattahoochee and Flint River system until
May of 1863 when she sank in an accidental
explosion at Blountstown, Florida. Raised by
the Confederates, the
Chattahoochee was
towed up to Columbus where she was
Please click here to read more about
the explosion aboard the Chattahoochee.

Started downstream when the Union army
attacked Columbus, she was abandoned
and torched by her own crew several miles
below the city. Like the
Jackson, she burned
to the waterline and sank. A section of her
hull was recovered and brought back to
Columbus during the 1960s.

After inspecting the wrecks of the two
warships, visitors to the museum explore
displays featuring a wide array of artifacts
before entering a reconstructed section of the
U.S.S. Hartford. There they can learn how
sailors and officers lived aboard ship during
the Civil War and explore several interior
rooms of the famed vessel.
Leaving the Hartford, visitors to the museum
can see iron plating from the ironclad
and the flag of the famed Southern
C.S.S. Arkansas before exploring a
reconstructed Civil War dock area where they
can climb aboard the
C.S.S. Albemarle, a
recreation of the famed ironclad of coastal
North Carolina.

Albemarle reconstruction also features
a battle theater, where visitors experience the
sights and sounds of being aboard a Civil
War ironclad during battle.

Outside the museum can be found one of the
original massive Brooke rifles from the
C.S.S. Jackson. Fired by reenactors on
special occasions, the blast of the cannon
shakes all of downtown Columbus. Also
outside on the grounds is a full size replica of
U.S.S. Water Witch, a Union warship
captured and destroyed near Savannah in

The National Civil War Naval Museum
complex, called Port Columbus, is open
daily. The museum is located at 1002 Victory
Drive in Columbus and also borders the
Columbus River Walk.

Please click here to visit their official website.
Civil War Naval History
The National Civil War Naval
Museum is a fascinating
interpretive facility.
Recreation of the Albemarle
Visitors to the museum can
climb aboard a recreation of
the ironclad
C.S.S. Albemarle.
C.S.S. Chattahoochee
The stern section of the
C.S.S. Chattahoochee has
been raised and is on display
at the museum.
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Copyright 2012 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Update: July 18, 2012
Civil War Sites in Georgia