Charles Carroll Simms, a native of Virginia, became a U.S. Navy midshipman in 1839. He served in the U.S. Navy for more than two decades, achieving the rank of Lieutenant in 1854. He was dismissed from the service in April 1861, after his state left the United States, and briefly was an officer in Virginia's Navy. Commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the Confederate States Navy in June 1861, during that year he commanded the steamer CSS George Page and was assigned to the steamer CSS Rappahannock . As an officer of the ironclad CSS Virginia, he took part in her March-May 1862 actions in the vicinity of Hampton Roads. Subsequently, he served in the gunboats CSS Nansemond on the James River, and CSS Selma in Mobile Bay. During the U.S. Civil War's final year, while assigned to the Mobile Squadron, he commanded the ironclads CSS Baltic and CSS Nashville. First Lieutenant Simms surrendered to Federal forces in early May 1865 and was paroled soon afterwards.
This page incorporates text from the public domain U.S. Naval Historical Center.