CSSColumbia, an uncommonly strong ironclad ram, was constructed under contract at Charleston, South Carolina in 1864, of yellow pine and white oak with iron fastenings and 6-inch iron plating. Hull work was done by F. M. Jones to John L. Porter's plans, plating and machinery by James M. Eason; her casemate was shortened to conserve precious metal and clad with 6" iron. Columbia was launched in March 1864 and entered service later in that year.
When the Union forces took possession of Charleston on February 18, 1865, they found the greatly prized Columbia in jeopardy near Fort Moultrie; while on duty as part of the defenses of Charleston, she had run on a sunken wreck and been damaged on January 12, 1865. Columbia was found to have had her guns and some armor plating removed and ship-worms already at work.
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