CSS Baltic

Alabama’s first ironclad was the CSS Baltic,  created from an existing Philadelphia-built tug vessel used primarily to transfer cotton from the port in Mobile to ships moored in the bay. After the outbreak of the Civil War, it was commissioned as a warship and sheathed in iron only above the waterline. The ship was slow and difficult to maneuver, and the wooden bottom was quickly eaten by parasites. It was retired in 1864.

Courtesy of U.S. Naval Historical Center