CSS Chattahoochee

May 27, 1863

Buried near this site May 28, 1863

According to the War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume 17, Page 869,
"The graves of these men are on a vacant lot, one block south of the main entrance to
Florida State Hospital at Chattahoochee, Florida."

Fred W Arents of Richmond, VA
Charles H Berry of Tampa, FL
William S Silbro  (William B Bilbo) of Columbus, GA
Edwin Conn (Edward Conn)  of Apalachicola, FL
Charles Douglas unknown
Henry Fagan of Key West, FL
Manassa Fairchloth of FL
Eugene Henderson of Tuskegee, AL
Joseph Hicks of GA
Euclid P Hodges of MD
John Joliff  unknown
James H Jonesof FL
Enoch C Lamphear (Lanper) of Columbus, GA
William Moore of FL
John Spear of FL
James Thomas of FL
Lewis C Wild of FL

Erected 1994 by the
William Anderson Sanders Chapter
UDC Lake Wales, Florida

Subj: CSS Chattahoochee
Date: 04/13/2000
From: Jkarthur@aol.com

According to family information, Elizabeth Bowers Taylor and her daughter, Mary, were working in some capacity on the CSS Chattahoochee when it exploded. We have been unable to obtain much, if any, information about this possibility so I am writing to you to find out if you have ever heard about this.

We suspect that she might have been a cook or employed in some capacity on this gunship. From what we understand she was buried in Quincy, but her daughter was sent home.

We have also heard the sometimes women manned these gunboats because the men were off at war.

I would be happy to purchase anything that might tell us about this, but just don't know where to go.

What is killing me is that we lived in Panama City for six years in the 80's and I didn't know any of this then. We still have our house there, but live in NY near Buffalo due to my husband's job.

I hope you can help.
Judith K. Arthur e-mail jkarthur@aol.com

Subj: [FLJACKSO] CSS Chattahoochee
Date: 04/14/2000
From: JaxDAC@aol.com
To: FLJACKSO-L@rootsweb.com

There is an excellent book called "Navy Gray" that deals extensively with the C.S.S. Chattahoochee and the explosion at Blountstown. It is by Maxine Turner and, so far as I know, is still available through the University of Alabama Press. You can also obtain it through the standard on-line bookstores (bn.com and amazon.com).

I have never seen anything in my research that indicates there were female crewmembers about the Chattahoochee, but there are several accounts of women visitors to the boat during routine training cruises. The Chattahoochee was on combat alert when it exploded and there were definitely no women among the casualties.
Best, Dale Cox  e-mail JaxDAC@aol.com

Subj: CSS Chattahoochee
Date: 04/13/2000
From: rscott@leading.net (Randy Scott)

In reply to Betty and Judith Arthur re: her inquiry as to Mrs. Taylor and daughter on the Chattahoochee. Two of my J/Co ancestors, Charles E. Bazzell and Lorenzo Davis Coonrod (respectively, my great great uncle and great great grandfather and father of ; Sarah Jane Coonrod (Thomas Franklin) Bazzell (of the web site Bazzell Account Book ) served on this boat. Its remains lie in Columbus Georgia at the Confederate Naval Museum in the mid-1980's I presented the Museum with photos and genealogies of these two men, the first they had ever had on enlisted men, Judith might contact the Curator there and see if they have any data on Mrs. Taylor

My first thought is that the Confederate Navy would not knowingly allow and women aboard while sailing in harms way (combat). The boat was docked in Blountstown when it had its tragic explosion, i.e. Water was somehow allowed to exit the boilers and when the engine was fired up it exploded and killed or scarringly burned most of those aboard.

From the National Archives in Washington I purchased the only known page of payroll records from the Chattahoochee and its crew. Charles Bazzell was listed but not Davis Coonrod. He was later, in 1864, assigned to the CSS Georgia but took ill before he could travel to Savannah and join her crew; by the time he was well she had been surrendered.

I had the pleasure a few years ago of lecturing to the Sons of Confederate veterans in Jacksonville on this war vessel and its import, along with the Apalachicola/Chattahoochee rivers importance to the Confederacy.

It may be that while the boat was ported in Blountstown that Mrs Taylor and her daughter may have been hired to either cook or do laundry/seamstress work, perhaps even help the men write letters. The Payroll record I have does not list any crewman, officer or enlisted man by those names. This document reads " Quarterly, or Half Yearly Pay, receipt and Muster Roll of the CSS Chattahoochee for the Quarter Ending September, 1863 L.E. Brooks, Asst Paym ( Leslie E. Brooks ).

You might find it interesting that Charles received $ 24.00 pay, was due $ 72.00 this pay period plus $ 50 + from another vessel duty, allowance for undrawn rations of $3.68 total due to him $129.78 60c was deducted for Hospital Fund; All of the men were listed as "enlisted for the war (duration) "

I sure haven't answered Judith's question but I hope a little something here helps.

By the way, for those interested, the enlisted men noted here are: John Alllsion, Joseph Blanca, C.E. Bazzell ( NOTE the book SOLDIERS of FLORIDA, incorrectly lists Charles on the Chattahoochee rolls as C.E. Bazzett. or some such goof!) George H. Caigh, Thomas Costa, John W. Catlett, J.B. Holder, M.M.N. Hardy, J. Howell E.F. Labatat, Joseph Sia, William J. Tucker, L.H. Wilder,, William S, Seely, Charles Burke

One final thing, I hope the Confederate Naval Museum still exists in Columbus along the banks of the Chatt. River A few years ago a campaign to have the Museum removed and placed far from the River and "where tourists could see it " if not out and out have it put out of existence. While I personally still believe that when it comes to a peoples' heritage, especially Southern history, that we must keep the ancestors alive and honor their convictions, whether time has proved them right or misguided by higher radicals...alas, I digress!

Hopefully others will be able to add to this hunt for Mrs Taylor. Where was she from? Her husbands' name? Was she from Jackson County? A neighboring county?

Randy Scott e-mail rscott@leading.net


Date: Friday, April 14, 2000
Subject: Chattahoochee

Betty..kudos to Patrica Carman and Dale Cox for their input on the Chattahoochee; if I hadn't been so tired last evening I would have mentioned Maxine Turner's book, an excellent source..another kinswoman historian of mine, Juanita Whiddon, who was raised not far down the street in Chattahoochee where the CSS Chattahoochee memorial Marker is sited, aslo researched and wrote on the boat back in the 1970's or early 80's Another crewman sighted in another source lista a man surbnamed Burns who alos died, whether from the explosion or from disease I have long tried to discover of he was also known as Benjamin Burns, my great grandmother Nancy Dykes Scott (Sam) first husband. I have never been able to find ben "Big Scrap" Burns noted in any Confederate roster, Fla, Ala, or Georgia yet family lore says he died during the war. Unfortunately, I have aslo not been able to find any of Ben Burns 'descendants although they are supposed to be in J/Co, Gadsden and Leon Co.

Plus, I am very glad to kinow that Confed Naval Museum curator, Bob Holcombe, is still there..years ago he built a scale model of the Chattahoochee..there were then ,the 1980's, no really known photo of it altho one possible shot has been found. Bob would know. Good hunting be well do good work! ( thanks to Garrison Keillor !)
Randy Scott

Subject: [FLJACKSO] Re:CSS Chattahoochee
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000
From: Pfspears@aol.com
To: FLJACKSO-L@rootsweb.com
Hello Everyone,
Need your help to identify the John SPEAR listed as killed in the explosion of the CSS Chattahoochee, May 27, 1863. Have read of the account in Perilous Journeys: A History of Steamboating on the Chattahoochee, Apalachicola and Flint Rivers, BUT need additional help.

I would greatly appreciate knowing of as many John Spears as you might know who were located in the area at that time. My John was approximately 53 years old in 1862, and could have been a volunteer, since the CSA was taking all males between the ages of 16-60, at that time.
Thanks for any help.
Pat Spears e-mail Pfspears@aol.com

Subj: CSS Chattahoochee
Date: 04/24/2000
From: hherndon@alltel.net (Joan Herndon)
To: BettyMaeS2@aol.com
Betty, there are two books that were published here in Early County, Ga.that would be of interest to anyone researching the CSS Chattahoochee and the Civil War in this area. (The two history books can be ordered by making a check out to the Early County Historical Society--and sent to John Edmondson--Rt. 2-- Blakely, Ga. 31723 send 28.00 plus 7.00 postage........ask for Volume I and Volume II of Historical Collections of Early County.--be sure and enclose your name and address.) We think of Georgia, when we are in Florida,as a distant land to us, buy nay, in that day and time they ran the rivers to Columbus and some of those folks mentioned were right here in Early County.........The gunboat was built here the first time in Southern Early County along the Chattahoochee River......We own parts of the Confederate Naval Yard now and some friends own the other parts, by all rights it should have been made into a National Park but Kolomoki Mounds on the other end of Early County gets all the funding and we have nothing, we applied one time and they were bickering back and forth about no funds..........I almost know Florida would have taken it and run with it.
If there is any questions I can answer just let me know and you can refer folks to me, if necessary.

Joan Richards-Herndon--P.O. Box 325--Cedar Springs, Ga. 31732 hherndon@alltel.net