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Jackson was laid down as "Muscogee" in early 1862. However, the stresses of turning Columbus, Georgia into a naval yard combined with labor disputes and the constant political infighting over resources in the Confederacy significantly delayed her completion. She was mostly finished by the end of 1862, but key components were not ready until her launch in December, 1864, more than two years later. She was commissioned at the same time she was launched (a somewhat unusual practice), and officially named "Jackson" (the reasons for the name change are not known, but many ironclads were built under one name and commissioned under another.) She began shake down trials in that same month, but was still awaiting final fitting out on April 17th, 1865, when Wilson's Raiders attacked Columbus Georgia. Lacking the manpower to take her, and knowing that she provided a significant threat to Union operations in the area, Wilson reluctantly gave the order to set her ablaze and to cut her mooring line. She drited away from the dock, burned to the waterline, and sank...
Jackson was a "Columbia" type ironclad, meaning that she had a low, heavily armored casemate and a long body with a shallow draft designed for both riverine and coastal operations.
Historically, she seems to have been painted in a pale grey color, or perhaps white. Analyses of the sepia tone photographs of her launching have proven inconclusive in regards to this.