FM19217 CSS Hampton (Maury Gun Boat). Known as “Maury Gunboatsâ€, (100 of which were planned) were the brain children of Cmdr. Matthew Fontaine Maury, CSN. These gunboats were a manifestation of a recurrent theory (overwhelm by numbers) that wars may be fought economically with small gunboat â€œmosquito fleetsâ€ as proposed by Cmdr. Maury.
Only Hampton and Nansemond saw service. Norfolk, Portsmouth and others- were burned on the stocks by their builders. Such mass production of “standard ships” as Maury desired, was not achieved until 1918.
CSS Hampton was a wooden gunboat built at Norfolk Navy Yard in 1862 and based there until May when the yard was abandoned and the fleet moved up the James River. With Lt. J. S. Maury, CSN, in command, Hampton participated in significant river actions including the battle at Dutch Gap en 13 August 1864; operations against Fort Harrison, 29 September-1 October; and the engagement at Chaffin’s Bluff, 22 October. Hampton was burned by the Confederates as they evacuated Richmond on 3 April, 1865.