Sunday, August 5, 2007
C.S.S. Chattahoochee Monument
Just off U.S. 90 in Chattahoochee is the burial site of the Confederate sailors who died in the boiler explosion and sinking of the C.S.S. Chattahoochee in 1863. If you turn south off U.S. 90 at the entrance to the Florida State Hospital, you'll see the monument marking the gravesite on the right.
The Chattahoochee was a large gunship constructed at Saffold, Georgia, during the early years of the war. Her first commander was Catesby ap R. Jones, a veteran of the ironclads battle between the Monitor and the Virginia. The vessel was moored at Chattahoochee when word came of a minor Union incursion up the Apalachicola River near the Gulf. The ship raised steam and headed downriver, but got aground at Blountstown. The next morning, as the crew of the Chattahoochee was raising steam to get her off the sandbar, the ship's boiler exploded and she sank in shallow water.
The men who died were brought here to Chattahoochee and buried. The ship itself was eventually raised by the Confederates and taken to Columbus, Georgia, for repairs. She was burned to the waterline by her crew at the end of the war and a portion of her hull can be seen today at the Port Columbus National Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus.