CSS Indian Chief


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#3
When you mention the C.S.S. Indian Chief my mind automatically goes to the old TV movie "The Hunley" where its mentioned and a mock up is shown. Pretty bad movie historically speaking but somewhat okay entertainment wise.

As for Indian Chief all I've ever known she was a receiving ship, and I've read a reference or two listing her as a steamer of some sort a long time ago, and the references seemed dubious to me at the time. I'm interested to see what turns up.
 

AndyHall

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#4
Indian Chief was serving as a practice target when Hunley sank the second time. This was when the attack plan was to run the submersible under the target, towing a floating mine astern.

Hunley dived under Indian Chief, but went nose-down into the bottom and never resurfaced. Indian Chief's crew witnessed the whole thing. Remarkably, several of that ship's crew ended up volunteering for Hunley when she was subsequently raised and refitted.
 

Mark F. Jenkins

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#6
Wow, there's even less on her than I was expecting to find-- which wasn't much!

Paging @AndyHall -- is this something that might be in the Lytle-Holdcamper List? I'm guessing if she's not in there, that's another point against her being a steamer. (Other items leading to that conclusion are that steamers were too useful to have sitting around as a receiving ship, and in one entry on ORN, an officer is directed to transfer most of the Huntress's company to the Indian Chief-- but not the firemen, and coal heavers. Slender reeds, but they do fit the pattern.)

Still poking about...
 

Mark F. Jenkins

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#7
Still coming up empty. Lots of incidental mentions, including a commanding officer (William Dozier), but she's always just a "supporting character" in the Hunley drama.

Going entirely off the "large, three masted" idea... perhaps a prewar packet? Something like the Shenandoah at this page (midway down):

https://americanhistory.si.edu/onthewater/exhibition/2_3.html
 

AndyHall

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#8
Wow, there's even less on her than I was expecting to find-- which wasn't much!

Paging @AndyHall -- is this something that might be in the Lytle-Holdcamper List? I'm guessing if she's not in there, that's another point against her being a steamer. (Other items leading to that conclusion are that steamers were too useful to have sitting around as a receiving ship, and in one entry on ORN, an officer is directed to transfer most of the Huntress's company to the Indian Chief-- but not the firemen, and coal heavers. Slender reeds, but they do fit the pattern.)
Well, that's interesting. Like a lot of folks, probably, I never gave much thought or attention to Indian Chief. But Silverstone (1sr Ed.) does list her as a steamer. She's not in Lytle-Holdcamper, but I have found contemporary news accounts describing her as a steam vessel. Worthy of further digging.

ETA: There was a British (Canadian) barque Indian Chief that landed lead pigs at New York from Malaga in April 1861, but that's not the same vessel. This barque is also listed in contemporary Lloyd's Register documents.
 
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Mark F. Jenkins

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#9
Absent other information, I'm assuming the name was unchanged when she was taken into Confederate service. (If it were something like "States Rights", it would be another story...)
 

rebelatsea

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#10
Absent other information, I'm assuming the name was unchanged when she was taken into Confederate service. (If it were something like "States Rights", it would be another story...)
The ORN's are no help on this one either. This is what prompted my question. I could only think of Indian chief as a receiving ship.
Life in Jefferson Davis’ Navy - Barbara Brookes Tomlin
Chapter 4 page 82, 18th January 1864 Charleston SC

“The large three- masted vessel lying behind Castle Pickney that us being iron plated, but used at present as a receiving ship”.

If this report is true it wasn't a CSN project (it says here). I wonder if the Easons / James Marsh were involved.
 
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