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Commander: Lt. Thomas T. Hunter

Original name: Curlew

Tonnage: 236 68/95 tons

Rig: Iron hull side-wheel steamer

Dimensions: 136’ x 23’ x 8’

Built By: Harlan & Hollingsworth

Location/Year: Wilmington, Del., 1856

Home port: Edenton, NC

Description: 1 deck, no mast, round stern, no head

Engine: 1 vertical beam low-pressure engine; 29 x 108

Owner(s): Edenton and Plymouth Steamship Co.

Rig: Iron side-wheel steamer

Armament: 1 – 32 pdr.




Service Record

·        Participated in the capture of the USS Fanny at Loggerhead Inlet, NC, 1 October 1861

·        Sunk by a shot during the battle of Roanoke Island, NC, 7 February 1862



The CSS Curlew participated in the capture of the USS Fanny 1 Oct 1861; she sank when a shot from the USS Southfield fell through her deck and knocked out a hull plate during the battle of Roanoke Island. Commander Thomas “Tornado” Hunter ran her aground in front of Fort Forrest. Her 32 pdr. gun was salvaged and placed on the Black Warrior.



Plate salvaged from the Curlew’s engine

Photo courtesy of N. C. Dept. of Cultural Resources


Harper’s Weekly picture of the

destruction of the CSS Curlew


Replica of the CSS Curlew’s flag