Called "The Ladies Gunboat", this vessel was finished largely by the efforts of the ladies of Charleston and other donors by conducting public fairs, raffles, and individual appeals to raise funds for its construction.
On October 11, 1862 the Palmetto State was launched from its location at Marsh & Son docks. The christening address was provided by James Yeadon, Editor of the Charleston Daily Courier, who was also instrumental in the success of the construction of the gunboat. Yeadon's message to the audience and crew was an inspirational motivation to all in attendance:
"At this crisis, a noble spirit stirred in the bosoms of the daughters of Palmetto State, and the project of building iron clad gunboats for the defense of Charleston, originated and emanated from their patriotism and public spirit ... donations in money, plate, jewelry, works of art and ingenuity, family relics, tokens of affection, the widow's mite, and even bridal gifts, were poured forth as from a horn of plenty or an exhaustless fountain, to arm Charleston with the means of naval defense ... Noble boat! You now bear a name which is at once a badge and incentive of victory; you are armed and equipped to do battle in a righteous war, against an unprincipled enemy; and, relying on the justice of our cause, let us hopefully and reverently commit your destiny to Him, with whom are the issues of life and death-of defeat and victory."
-- Charleston Daily Courier, October 13, 1862