As New Orleans fell in April of 1862, the Confederacy evacuated as much military, civilian, and industrial equipment as it could in order to make the most of a disastrous situation. One of the items recovered was a large floating dock, not converted for use as a floating battery like "New Orleans" and "Memphis"; another big score was a large amount of riverboat machinery plus most of the armament that had been delivered or manufactured for use aboard CSS Mississippi. Shortly thereafter, the Confederate States Navy established a makeshift navy yard at Yazoo City, Mississippi. One of the first goals of the navy yard was to produce a strong flotilla of warships that would be capable of challenging the Union and preventing further access to the Mississippi or, perhaps, enough firepower to retake New Orleans. The core of this flotilla was to be a design that was the brainchild of Isaac N. Brown (this guy is everywhere, isn't he?) the massive riverine ironclad CSS Yazoo, also known as "The Yazoo Monster."
Yazoo was the largest riverine warship ever laid down. If completed, she would have been the largest riverine vessel in all of the Americas. She was to be over 250 feet long, propelled by two screws and two paddlewheels capable of doing in excess of 15 knots. These were to be powered by six high powered steam engines, salvaged from the best ships evacuated from New Orleans, slaved together in pairs to create three high velocity boilers, and armed with the armament set aside for CSS Mississippi. From somewhere around October 1862 to February 1863, Yazoo was in construction, with Isaac N. Brown supervising. Then, in February of 1863, the Confederacy gave the order to evacuate Yazoo city. The Confederate Army believed that the position was vulnerable, and since Army officers outranked Navy officers in the Confederacy, it was the viewpoint of the Army that mattered. Everything that could be taken out was taken out, piece by piece, and the yard was disassembled. But Yazoo was too far along to be evacuated, and not far enough along to be launched. And so she was torched. Two days later, with her remains still burning, Admiral Porter reached Yazoo City and was given a tour of the old Confederate facilities by the local residents, who were eager to prove their loyalty to the Union. It was, in fact Porter who coined the name "the Yazoo Monster."
The Yazoo Monster's plans were kindly provided by Naval Historian John Wallis, a talented artist who has gone to great pains to reconstruct her. Thank you again, John, for sharing your information with me.
I hope the rest of you enjoy this near-miss beauty of a ship as much as I do.
Historically, we have no idea what colors Yazoo would have been painted in, but I favor the "chocolate/mud brown" look that was used for Arkansas and Mississippi. Your mileage may vary!