CSS Curlew

Featured Character – 1861-1862

Destruction of the CSS Curlew at the Battle of Roanoke Island

Source: Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, 1862

The CSS Curlew was an iron-hull steamboat built in 1856 for Edenton plantation owner Dr. Thomas Warren for passenger and freight service between Hertford, Elizabeth City, Nags Head, and Edenton. Warren sold the vessel to the Confederate States Navy when war broke out and it was put into service in the “Mosquito Fleet.” The Curlew actively patrolled the Pamlico Sound and Hatteras Inlet between 1861 and February of 1862, helping in the capture of the Union supply boat Fanny at Chicamacomico on October 1, 1861. On February 8, 1862, the Curlew was involved in the attempt to repel Union forces at Roanoke Island and was holed by a shell and run aground so she would not sink. The next day, the Curlew was set on fire as the Confederates surrendered at Roanoke Island. The surviving gunboats at the battle withdrew to Elizabeth City.