The Pee Dee, or Mars Bluff, Navy Yard was built in 1863 to allow ships for the Confederacy to be built far enough from the coast to prevent Union attacks. The CSS Pee Dee was the first and only warship built there.
It was a Macon-Class cruiser 150 feet long with a 25-foot beam and three gun carriages: bow, stern and amidship. Power was provided by sails and a boiler which kept twin giant propellers turning. Its masts could be lowered to fit under railroad trestles and bridges.
Confederate Secretary of Navy Stephen Mallory once referred to the Pee Dee as the finest ship ever built in the South.