Marker Text*: This museum, operated by the Georgia Historical Commission houses the hulk of the ironclad gunboat C.S.S. Muscogee, salvaged from the Chattahoochee River by the State of Georgia, the City of Columbus, Muscogee County, and volunteers from Fort Benning.
The Muscogee, officially named the Jackson, was built at the Columbus Naval Iron works commanded by Maj. James H. Warner, C.S.N., immediate supervision of ship construction directed by Lt. Augustus McLaughlin. Construction of the Muscogee probably began in mid-1862. Her draft being too great, an attempted launching in Dec. 1863 failed. Further delay was caused by a scarcity of iron plating to complete the vessel’s armor. Finally, launched in Dec. 1864, she was not ready for combat until 1865.
In April 1865, Columbus was captured by Wilson’s Raiders. During the systematic destruction of Government and war industries, the gunboat was burned. Gen. E.F. Winslow, U.S.A. reported that “the cables were parted and the gunboat Muscogee alias Jackson floated away.” The Muscogee, never having seen active duty, lay at the bottom of the Chattahoochee for a century before she was salvaged to become a monument to the Confederate Navy.
*Marker not in place due to damage or maintenance.