CSS Virginia II
CSS Virginia II was laid down at the Confederate Navy Yard at Richmond in 1863. Acting Constructor William A. Graves, CSN, superintended her building, but in order to conserve scarce metal, shortened the casemate called for in the original Porter plans; armor was 6" thick on the forward face and 5" on the sides and after face. Commander Robert B. Pegram, CSN, was her first commanding officer.
Virginia II went into action on 21 June 1864 as flagship of Commodore J. K. Mitchell, CSN, during the engagement between the Confederate James River Squadron and Federal ships in Trent's Reach. On 13 August and 22 October she exchanged fire with the enemy at Dutch Gap and on 17 August participated in the capture of Signal Hill.
Her final action took place on 23-24 January 1865 when the Confederate squadron in the James River, including ironclads CSS Richmond and CSS Fredericksburg, with five smaller vessels, made a second unsuccessful attempt to circumvent obstructions in Trent's Reach. Virginia II suffered damage which required extensive repairs.
Virginia II was one of the ships destroyed in the James River before the evacuation of Richmond, Va., on 3 April 1865. She was raised by the United States after the war.
Part of the text is incorporated from the United States Navy's Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, a work in the public domain.