Confederate Navy ensign

The Confederate States Navy (CSN) was the naval branch of the Confederate States armed forces established by an act of the Confederate Congress on February 21, 1861. It was responsible for Confederate naval operations during the American Civil War. The two major tasks of the Confederate Navy during the whole of its existence were the protection of Southern harbors and coastlines from outside invasion, and making the war costly for the North by attacking merchant ships and breaking the Union Blockade.

Confederate States Navy in The Guns of the South[]

During the Second American Revolution, the C.S. Navy Secretary was Stephen R. Mallory. Unlike the Army, the CS Navy did not benefit as much from the time-traveling intervention of Andries Rhoodie and his Rivington Men. As the Rivington Men chose to focus on arming the Confederate ground forces with AK-47s, the CS Navy remained much the same and was unable to fully break through the US Navy's blockade, even after the ground war had decisively turned in the South's favor.

One notable change did occur, however. The CSS Alabama, which was historically sunk in battle with the USS Kearsarge after leaving the port of Cherbourg in France, was still inside the port when word of Washington City's capture and the war's end reached Europe. The USS Kearsarge and CSS Alabama never met in battle, but instead returned to their home countries. After the war, the Alabama was sent to join a British anti-slavery patrol off the west African coast, after General Robert E. Lee convinced then-President Jefferson Davis of the importance of both demonstrating Confederate naval power and encouraging good relations with the British Empire and its Royal Navy.

In commemoration of the decisive victory won in the Battle of Bealeton by the Army of Northern Virginia in the 1864 campaign, the CS Navy named a gunboat CSS Bealeton. Robert E. Lee saw the gunboat on patrol in the James River after the war.

Confederate States Navy in Southern Victory[]

Ensign of the C.S. Navy, after Houston and Kentucky were returned to the Confederate States by the 1941 Plebiscites.

The Confederate States Navy was the naval branch of the military of the Confederate States. It was very much the Confederacy's junior service and was often underfunded even in times of budget surpluses. However, unlike the Confederate States Army, the Navy had its own official officer's training academy in Mobile, Alabama.

In the Atlantic Ocean the Confederate Navy traditionally relied on the British Royal Navy as it had ever since the British broke the US blockade in 1862 at the end of the War of Secession.[1] In the Pacific, despite President James Longstreet's aspiration to make the CS a Pacific power by acquiring the port city of Guaymas, Sonora from Mexico in 1881, the Confederate Navy's power in the Pacific never amounted to much.

In the Great War, the Confederate surface fleet did fairly poorly against the U.S. Navy, though its submersible fleet had better success. At the end of the war, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt imposed severe arms restrictions on the C.S. Navy, and, while the C.S. under President Jake Featherston eventually found ways to subvert the Army's arms restrictions, the Navy was always a much lower priority. In the Second Great War, the CS surface fleet scored only one major victory, at Bermuda; and even there, the British did most of the work, and the Confederates saw little serious action. In 1943, when the US retook Bermuda, the British conducted the naval defense of the islands exclusively.

Confederate submarines were little more than a nuisance for US ships during the Second Great War, and the CS Navy did not have a single airplane carrier, as the overall focus of the Confederate military was on its ground forces, and the Confederacy's limited shipbuilding industry did not have the ability to build surface warships of any significant size or numbers. With the Confederacy's total defeat and destruction at the Second Great War's end, the Confederate States Navy, like the Confederacy itself, was disbanded and ceased to exist.


  1. American Front, pgs. 6-7, HC.