Lt. Charles Carroll Simms


  • Born in Virginia.
  • Appointed from Virginia.
  • Formerly lieutenant, US Navy.
  • Served as lieutenant, Virginia Navy.
  • 1st lieutenant, CS Navy, 10 June 1861.

Lt. Charles C. Simms, an officer aboard the CSS Virginia, was detached and sent on temporary duty with the “mosquito fleet” on 23 January 1862. He had served as a lieutenant in the United States Navy prior to the Civil War. Simms commanded the CSS Appomattox during the battles of Roanoke Island (7-8 Feb 1862) and Elizabeth City (10 Feb 1862).

The Appomattox escaped up the Pasquotank River to the locks of the Dismal Swamp Canal after her forward gun was spiked by accident in the Elizabeth City battle; unfortunately, she was too wide to fit through the locks. Simms destroyed the ship to keep her from falling into the hands of the Union. He led her crew back to Norfolk, where he rejoined the crew of the CSS Virginia and participated in the battle of Hampton Roads.