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CSS Selma, a 320-ton side-wheel gunboat, was built in 1856 at Mobile, Alabama, as the civilian coastal steamer Florida. Taken over by the Confederate Government in April 1861, she was converted to a warship, retaining the name Florida. She served in the New Orleans, Lake Ponchartrain, Mississippi Sound and Mobile Bay areas throughout her career, successfully engaging the U.S. Navy ship Massachusetts on 19 October 1861 and the USS Montgomery on 4 December of that year. The gunboat was renamed Selma in July 1862. She was sunk by a snag near Mobile in February 1863, but was quickly repaired and returned to service.

During the Battle of Mobile Bay on 5 August 1864, Selma, commanded by First Lieutenant Peter U. Murphey, was one of three Confederate gunboats that joined CSS Tennessee in fighting the Union fleet as it passed Fort Morgan. After the Federal ships had entered Mobile Bay, USS Metacomet was sent in chase of the Selma. Following an hour's pursuit, the Confederate ship was hit by gunfire and forced to surrender.

Immediately taken into U.S. Navy service as USS Selma, she helped bombard Fort Morgan later in August and served in Mobile Bay until January 1865, when she was transferred to New Orleans, Louisiana. Selma decommissioned in July 1865 and was sold at that time to civilian owners. She thereafter operated as a merchant steamer under the same name. On 24 June 1868, the SS Selma foundered off the mouth of the Brazos River, Texas.

Launched: 1856
Commissioned: 1861
Decommissioned: August 5, 1864
Fate: Captured
General Characteristics
Displacement: 590 tons
Length: 252
Beam: 30 ft
Draught: 6 ft
Propulsion: Steam engine
Complement: 99 Officers and men
Armament: 2 9" smoothbore cannons, 1 8" smoothbore cannon, 1 6.4" rifled cannon

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