CSS Charleston was built at Charleston, S.C., where she was laid down in December 1862, and commissioned 9 months later. She was not ready for service until early in 1864 when she became the flagship of the squadron on the South Carolina coast with Comdr. I. N. Brown, CSN, in command. This vessel was set on fire and abandoned in Charleston Harbor when the city was evacuated by the Confederates on 18 February 1865.
Charleston was widely known as the "Ladies' Gunboat" because of the zeal with which the distaff side of the Charleston populace made sacrifices to contribute to her building.
Part of the text is incorporated from the United States Navy's Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, a work in the public domain.