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|Career (United Kingdom)
15 May 1855|
Money Wigram & Son, Blackwall|
24 May 1855|
2 November 1855|
1 April 1856|
Sold to R Gordon Coleman as Scylla in November 1863 and resold later the same month to the Confederacy|
||Confederate Navy Jack Confederate Navy Jack|
Turned over to United States|
200 ft (61 m)|
30 ft 2 in (9.19 m)|
2 steam engines|
CSS Rappahannock, a steam sloop-of-war, was built in the River Thames in 1855 as an Intrepid-class gunvessel for the Royal Navy and named HMS Victor. Although a handsomely modeled vessel, numerous defects occasioned her sale in 1863. An agent of the Confederate States Government purchased her ostensibly for the China trade, but British authorities suspected she was destined to be a Confederate commerce raider and ordered her detention. Nevertheless, she succeeded in escaping from Sheerness, England, on November 24, with workmen still on board and only a token crew. Her Confederate Naval officers joined in the English Channel.
When he bought her from the Admiralty through his secret agent on November 14, Commander Matthew F. Maury had intended Rappahannock to replace the unwanted, iron CSS Georgia and was about to transfer Georgia's battery to her. She was ideal for a cruiser—wooden hull, bark-rigged, two engines and a lifting screw propeller—but she was doomed to serve the Confederacy no more glamorously than a floating depot.
She was commissioned a Confederate man-of-war underway, but while passing out of the Thames Estuary her bearings burned out and she had to be taken across to Calais for repairs. There Lieutenant C. M. Fauntleroy, CSN, was placed in command.
Detained on various pretexts by the French Government, Rappahannock never got to sea and was turned over to the United States at the close of the war.
This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.