CSS North Carolina, an ironclad gunboat, was built by Berry & Brothers at Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1863 at a cost of $76,000. The ship's bulkheads above the waterline were sloped inward and armored with railroad iron, similar to the CSS Virginia. She had two gun ports on each of her four sides and carried six 8-inch guns that could be moved from one port to another, and mounted one pivot gun on her bow. She was placed in commission during the latter part of the year with Commander W. T. Muse, CSN, in command.
North Carolina was discovered to be structurally unsound, and unsuitable for use on the open ocean. She remained in the Cape Fear River until September 27, 1864 when she developed a leak and sank, her hull riddled by teredos, off Smithville (modern Southport), where she had been serving as a guard ship.