Union Riverine Ironclads


DISCLAIMER: Many sources conflict on the specifications of the ironclads, even the well-known ones. The facts and figures given below are a result of the comparison of multiple sources, with the most reasonable ones listed. Some tonnages are highly approximate. Some specifications varied among sister ships. Armament was known to change throughout service life. This list disagrees with some published sources. You have been warned...


Clicking the [Images] links will lead to public-domain images of the vessel at the Naval Historical Center's website.

Essex

Casemate gunboat
Dimensions:  length 198'6", beam 58', draft 6'10"
Displacement:  1,000 tons
Speed:  5 ½ kts knots
Crew:  134
Armor:  1 ¾" forward casemate, ¾" sides, 1 ¾" pilothouse
Armament:  One 10" and two 9" Dahlgren smoothbores, one 32# rifle
Authorized:  Fall 61

Essex (ex-New Era) [Images]: Serving first as a "timberclad," and then in two distinct incarnations as an ironclad, this converted ferryboat was one of the earliest and most active on the rivers. She was an unlucky ship, always hard-hit or in some kind of trouble. Sometimes informally referred to in writing as "S.X." and bore these letters on stacks after conversion. Ordered for the Army (as New Era) by General Fremont from Theodore Adams as a timberclad, joining river fleet in Oct 61. Patrolled Tennessee R. to Ft. Henry Nov 61. Partially protected with iron Dec 61, renamed. Reconnaissance of Columbus KY 7 Jan 62. Engaged Confederate flotilla at Lucas Bend MO 11 Jan 62. Supported landings at Pine Bluff KY 3 Feb 62. Attacked Fort Henry 6 Feb 62, put out of action when steam drum burst (10 killed, 26 wounded). Repaired and refitted at Cairo IL Feb-Apr 62; stripped to waterline, bow chopped, 40' added to length, extensively rebuilt (larger 23" bore engines possibly added). Engaged CSS Arkansas 16 Jul (damaged, drifted below Vicksburg and attached to Farragut's squadron), 22 Jul, and 6 Aug 62. Patrolled lower Mississippi. Shelled Bayou Sara LA after being fired on. Shelled Natchez MS 3 Sep 62. Ran past Port Hudson LA 7 Sep 62, hit 14 times. Occupied Baton Rouge LA 17 Dec 62. Bombarded Port Hudson 8 May-9 Jun 63, and again 26 Jun 63 (moderate damage). Bombarded Whitehall Point LA 10 Jul 63. Red River Expedition 9 Mar-16 May 64. Passed Bailey's dam at Alexandria 13 May 64. Decommissioned 20 Jul 65. Sold 29 Nov 65 at Mound City. Laid around at Cincinnati until fall 66, hull burned for scrap on shore near Mound City. The above specifications are accurate from after her rebuilding following damage at Fort Henry; her captain, Commander William D. Porter, did most of the design work for the rebuilding. Commanders: Cdr. William D. Porter (Dec 61-Sep 62), Cdr. Charles H.B. Caldwell (Sep 62-Jul 63), Cdr. Robert B. Townsend (Aug 63-Sep 64), Cdr. Andrew Bryson (Oct 64-Jun 65).

"City" Class

Casemate gunboats
Dimensions:  length 175', beam 51'2", draft 6'
Displacement:  888 tons
Speed:  8 knots
Crew:  175
Armor:  2 ½" casemate forward and sides, 1 ¼" pilothouse
Armament:  Three 8" Dahlgren and six 32# smoothbores, four 42# rifles
Authorized:  7 Aug 61

"City" Class (also sometimes known as the Cairo or St. Louis Class): This class of partially-armored gunboats was the core of the Western Gunboat Flotilla (later the Mississippi Squadron). The Cairo was the first warship in the world to be sunk by a mine ("torpedo"), and was rediscovered in 1956 and raised in the 1960s. The St. Louis was renamed Baron de Kalb after her transfer from the War Department to the Navy, as there was already a St. Louis in the Navy. Armament changed very frequently on these gunboats; the Cairo had a 30# rifle in place of one of the 42# rifles, and the Pittsburg had three 9" Dahlgrens instead of the 8" weapons found on the other boats.

  • Cairo [Images]: Known as the fastest steamer of the City class. Had grey-striped stacks to distinguish it from others in the class. Built by Eads at Mound City IL. Launched fall 61. Commissioned 15 Jan 62. Destruction of Tennessee Iron Works and occupation of Clarksville TN on Cumberland River 19 Feb 62. Seized abandoned guns and equipment at Fort Zollicoffer below Nashville 25 Mar 62. Bombarded Fort Pillow 13 Apr 62. Battle of Plum Point Bend 10 May 62. Battle of Memphis 6 Jun 62. Refitted Aug-Sep 62; railroad iron added to forward side sections. Expeditions up Yazoo River 21 Nov-12 Dec 62. Struck two mines and sank in Yazoo River 12 Dec 62. Wreck located 12 Nov 1956 and raised 18 Oct-1 Dec 1965. In 1980, reconstructed boat and accompanying museum were opened to the public in the Vicksburg Military Park. Commanders: Cdr. Nathaniel C. Bryant (Jan-Aug 62), LtCdr. Thomas O. Selfridge, Jr. (Aug-Dec 62).
  • Carondelet [Images] : Known as the slowest steamer of the City class, the most active of any of the river ironclads, and until the raising of the Cairo, the most famous. Stacks were painted with red bands to distinguish it from the rest of the class. Built by Eads at Carondelet MO. Launched 12 Oct 61. Commissioned 10 Jan 62. Bombarded Fort Henry 6 Feb 62 (hit 6 times, no casualties). Left on station as guardship while the rest of the flotilla returned to Cairo for repair. Moved to below Fort Donelson, arriving there 12 Feb 62 and briefly shelling it at Grant's request. Shelled Fort Donelson alone again 13 Feb 62. Bombarded Fort Donelson with the flotilla 14 Feb 62, hit 54 times (including one "friendly fire" stern hit from the timberclad Tyler), paddlewheel jammed, hit by Pittsburg during withdrawal; one rudder broken. Carried news of Donelson's fall back to Cairo on 17 Feb. Repaired at Cairo. Bombarded Island #10 15 Mar-5 Apr 62. Ran past Island #10 early morning of 5 Apr 62. Engaged shore batteries and spiked shore guns below Island #10 as far south as Tiptonville 6 Apr 62. Supported Union river crossing operations in conjunction with Pittsburg 7 Apr 62. Bombarded Fort Pillow 13 Apr 62, engaged River Defense Fleet. Battle of Plum Point Bend 10 May 62. Battle of Memphis 6 Jun 62. Bombarded St. Charles AR and expedition up White River 17 Jun 62. Engaged CSS Arkansas in Old River above Vicksburg 15 Jul 62, disabled and run aground (35 casualties). Refitted at Cairo from Aug-Oct 62, heavy oak and boiler iron added around engines. Supported Army operations up the White River 16 Nov 62. On station at Island #10 Jan 63 to guard against operations of Nathan Bedford Forrest. Damaged upon striking a snag above Fort Pillow 11 Jan 63. Steele's Bayou expedition 14-26 Mar 63. Shelled and ran past Vicksburg 16 Apr 63 (struck by Louisville during passage). Bombarded Grand Gulf MS 29 Apr 63. Bombarded Vicksburg 18-22 May, 27 May 63. Rescued Union troops cut off at Perkins Landing MS, holding off Confederate attacks until forces were able to withdraw 31 May 63. Engaged batteries at Hog Point LA 18 Nov 63. Drove off Confederates firing on Union work crews salvaging the hulk of the Indianola 11 Dec 63. Red River Expedition 12 Mar-16 May 64; side armor removed to pass the Alexandria dam (speed about 2 knots faster). Passed Bailey's dam at Alexandria 13 May 64. Ordered to Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers 1 Dec 64. Shelled battery at Clarksville TN on the Cumberland River 3 Dec 64. Recaptured three transports 4 Dec 64. Shelled batteries at Bell's Mill 6 Dec 64. Aided in turning of Confederate flank at Nashville 15-16 Dec 64. Stationed at Eastport MS in spring 65. Decommissioned 20 Jun 65. Fitted as an ordnance storeship and laid up at Mound City. Sold at Mound City 29 Nov 65. Taken to Cincinnati May 66; sold again. Engines removed and placed into towboat Quaker in 1867; hull became wharfboat at Gallipolis OH. A flood washed the ship downstream Apr 73; grounded at Manchester Island. Commanders: Capt. Henry Walke (Jan 62-Jan 63), LtCdr. James A. Greer (Jan-Feb 63), Lt. J. McLeod Murphy (Mar-Oct 63), ActngMst. James C. Gipson (Nov 63-Jan 64), Lt. John G. Mitchell (Feb-Nov 64), ActngMst. Charles W. Miller (Dec 64), Lt. Charles P. Clark (Jan 65), Lt. John Rogers (Feb-May 65).
  • Cincinnati [Images]: Had blue-striped stacks to distinguish it from others in the class. Built by Eads at Mound City IL. Launched fall 61. Commissioned 16 Jan 62. Bombarded Fort Henry 6 Feb 62, hit 31 times; two guns and paddlewheel disabled, 1 killed, 9 wounded. Taken to Cairo IL for repairs. Reconnoitered to Columbus KY 2 Mar 62. Bombarded Island #10 15 Mar-7 Apr 62; engine damaged 17 Mar 62. Bombarded Fort Pillow 13 Apr 62, engaged River Defense Fleet. Battle of Plum Point Bend 10 May 62, rammed and sunk while guarding mortar boat. Raised and refitted. Engaged CSS Arkansas above Vicksburg 15 Jul 62. Bombarded Vicksburg's upper batteries 15-16 Jul 62. Refitted with extra engine protection by late 62. Yazoo River expedition 21 Nov-11 Dec 62. Bombarded Drumgould's Bluff MS 27-28 Dec 62. White River expedition, bombarded and captured Fort Hindman (Arkansas Post) AR 10-11 Jan 63. Convoyed troops to St. Charles AR 14 Jan 63. Steele's Bayou expedition 14-26 Mar 63. Ran past Vicksburg 16 Apr 63. Bombarded Vicksburg 18-22 May, 27 May 63; hit under stern and sunk in shoal water by gunfire from Fort Hill on 27 May 63 (40 casualties). Confederates set fire to her a few days later. Guns removed 26 Jun 63 to equip a shore battery (Battery Selfridge). Raised Aug 63 and refitted; cylindrical riflemen's redoubt added over wheelhouses. Transferred to WGBS Feb 65. Took surrender of CSS Nashville in Tombigbee River AL 10 May 65. Decommissioned 4 Aug 65. Sold 28 Mar 66. Moored near mouth of Cache River below Mound City and sank there in 1866. Commanders: Cdr. Roger N. Stembel (Jan-May 62), Lt. John P. Hall (May-Jun 62), Lt. Byron Wilson (Jul-Oct 62), Lt. George M. Bache (Nov 62-Jun 63), Lt. Jason Goudy (late 64-Mar 65), LtCdr. George Brown (Mar-May 65).
  • Louisville [Images]: Had green-striped stacks to distinguish it from others in the class; had taller stacks (33' instead of 28'). At some point later in the war, fitted with a full-length roof over the hurricane deck. Built by Eads at Carondelet MO. Launched 18 Oct 61. Commissioned 16 Jan 62. Bombarded Fort Donelson 14 Feb 62, sustained heavy damage, lost steering control, and drifted out of action. Reconnoitered to Columbus KY 2 Mar 62. Bombarded Island #10 15 Mar-7 Apr 62. Battle of Memphis 6 Jun 62. Engaged CSS Arkansas above Vicksburg 15 Jul 62. Bombarded Vicksburg's upper batteries 15-16 Jul 62. Convoyed troops to Bledsoe's Landing and Hamblin's Landing AR 21 Oct 62. Captured Confederate riverboat above Island #36 1 Nov 62. Bombarded Drumgould's Bluff MS 27-28 Dec 62. White River expedition, bombarded and captured Fort Hindman AR (Arkansas Post) 10-11 Jan 63. Steele's Bayou expedition 14-26 Mar 63. Shelled and ran past Vicksburg 16 Apr 63 (collided with Carondelet during passage, then momentarily grounded). Bombarded Grand Gulf MS 29 Apr 63. Destroyed Rock Hill Point battery 27 May 63. Red River Expedition 12 Mar-16 May 64; side armor removed to pass the Alexandria dam (speed about 2 knots faster). Passed Bailey's dam at Alexandria 13 May 64. Sustained severe damage in engagement at Columbia AR 2 Jun 64. Supported troop withdrawal near Sunnyside AR 6 Jun 64. Decommissioned 21 Jul 65. Sold for scrap 29 Nov 65 at Mound City. Commanders: Cdr. Benjamin M. Dove (Jan-Sep 62), LtCdr. Richard W. Meade, Jr. (Sep-Dec 62), Lt. Robert K. Riley (Dec 62), Lt. Elias K. Owen (Dec 62-Sep 64), LtCdr. George Bacon (Oct 64-May 65).
  • Mound City [Images]: Reported as having orange-striped stacks, but a photograph shows a star on each stack instead; had taller stacks (33' instead of 28'). Built by Eads at Mound City IL. Launched fall 61. Commissioned 16 Jan 62. Action at Columbus KY 23 Feb 62. Bombarded Island #10 15 Mar-7 Apr 62. Captured Confederate riverboat 7 Apr 62 (this boat later became the hospital ship Red Rover). Bombarded Fort Pillow 13 Apr 62, engaged River Defense Fleet. Battle of Plum Point Bend 10 May 62, rammed and run aground. Bombarded St. Charles AR and expedition up White River 17 Jun 62, steam drum exploded when penetrated (82 killed, 68 injured). Expedition up Yazoo River 16-22 Aug 62. Steele's Bayou expedition 14-26 Mar 63. Shelled and ran past Vicksburg 16 Apr 63. Bombarded Grand Gulf MS 29 Apr 63. Destroyed battery near Warrenton MS 10 May 63. Bombarded Vicksburg 18-22 and 27 May 63, and 20 Jun 63. Broke up Confederate cavalry assault on a Union encampment near Lake Providence LA. Red River Expedition 12 Mar-16 May 64; side armor removed to pass the Alexandria dam (speed about 2 knots faster). Passed dam 12 May 64 (minor damage). Decommissioned 21 Jul 65. Sold 29 Nov 65 at Mound City. Beached at mouth of Cache River and dismantled in 1866. Commanders: Cdr. Augustus H. Kilty (Jan-Aug 62), ActngMst. John A. Duble (Jun-Jul 62), LtCdr. William Gwin (Aug-Sep 62), Lt. Byron Wilson (Oct 62-Jan 64), Lt. Amos R. Langthorne (Feb-Nov 64), ActngMst. Coleman (Dec 64-Jan 65), Lt. Griffith W.D. Patterson (Dec 64-May 65).
  • Pittsburg [Images]: Had light-brown striped stacks to distinguish it from others in the class; had taller stacks (33' instead of 28'). Built by Eads at Carondelet MO. Launched 18 Oct 61. Commissioned 16 Jan 62. Bombarded Fort Donelson 14 Feb 62, heavily damaged (hit 40 times), began taking on water so began to withdraw. Collided with Carondelet during withdrawal, breaking one of that ship's rudders. Began bombardment of Island #10 15 Mar 62. Ran past Island #10 to support Union Army operations 7 Apr 62. Bombarded Fort Pillow 13 Apr 62, engaged River Defense Fleet. Battle of Plum Point Bend 10 May 62. Convoyed Army transports to Eunice AR, shelled Confederate forces above Carsons Landing MS 29 Aug 62. Expeditions up Yazoo River 21 Nov-11 Dec 62. Steele's Bayou expedition 14-24 Mar 63. Shelled and ran past Vicksburg 16 Apr 63. Shelled Grand Gulf MS 29 Apr 63, heavily damaged (35 hits, 6 killed, 13 wounded). Ascended Red River in search of Confederate ram Webb 4 May 63, took possession of Alexandria LA, partially destroyed Fort De Russy 7 May 63. Bombarded Fort Beauregard, Harrisonburg LA 10-11 May 63. Shelled works at Simmesport LA 4 Jun 63. Red River Expedition 9 Mar-16 May 64; side armor removed to pass the Alexandria dam (speed about 2 knots faster). Passed Bailey's dam at Alexandria 13 May 64. Sold 29 Nov 65 at Mound City. Used as wharfboat; abandoned on rock bar above Smithland KY Jun 1870. Commanders: Cdr. Egbert Thompson (Jan-Sep 62), LtCdr. William R. Hoel (Oct 62-Feb 65), ActngMst. Morgan (Mar-May 65).
  • St. Louis [Images]: Had yellow-striped stacks to distinguish it from others in the class; also apparently bore a Masonic emblem on the spreader bar between stacks. Built by Eads at Carondelet MO. Launched 15 Oct 61. Commissioned 31 Jan 62(?). Engaged Confederate vessels near Lucas Bend MO 11 Jan 62. Briefly shelled Columbus KY 14 Jan 62. Covered troop landing at Pine Bluff KY 3 Feb 62. Bombarded Fort Henry 6 Feb 62; hit 7 times, no casualties. Bombarded Fort Donelson 14 Feb 62, hit 59 times and disabled. Action at Columbus KY 23 Feb 62. Bombarded Island #10 15 Mar-7 Apr 62 (gun burst 17 Mar 62, boat expedition spiked guns on shore 1 Apr 62). Bombarded Fort Pillow 13 Apr 62, engaged River Defense Fleet. Battle of Plum Point Bend 10 May 62. Battle of Memphis 6 Jun 62. Bombarded St. Charles AR and expedition up White River 17 Jun 62, engaged and silenced Confederate batteries. Renamed Baron de Kalb 8 Sep 62 upon transferral of control to Navy Department (there was already a USS St. Louis on the Navy List). Refitted with extra engine protection by late 62. Landed a party at Hopefield AR to chase a group of renegades 24 Oct 62. Yazoo River expedition 21 Nov-11 Dec 62. Captured Confederate riverboat above Memphis 5 Dec 62. Bombarded Drumgould's Bluff 27-28 Dec 62. White River expedition, bombarded and captured Fort Hindman (Arkansas Post) AR 10-11 Jan 63. Convoyed troops up to St. Charles AR 14 Jan 63. Took possession of Devall's Bluff AR 16 Jan 63 and of Des Arc AR 17 Jan 63 while in pursuit of CSS Webb. Yazoo Pass expedition, attacked Fort Pemberton on Tallahatchie River 12-18 Mar 63 (damaged on 13 Mar 63). Supported Sherman's troops at Haynes Bluff 29-31 Apr 63. Destroyed Yazoo navy yard 20-23 May 63. Expedition up Yazoo River 24-31 May 63. While convoying troops up Yazoo River, struck a mine and sank a mile below Yazoo City 13 Jul 63. Guns and valuables removed and vessel was blown up under water. Commanders: Lt. Leonard Paulding (Jan-Apr 62), Lt. Henry Erben (Apr-Jun 62), Lt. Wilson McGunnegle (Jun-Jul 62), Capt. John A. Winslow (Jul-Oct 62), LtCdr. John G. Walker (Oct 62-Aug 63).
  • Benton

    Casemate gunboat
    Dimensions:  length 202', beam 72', draft 9'
    Displacement:  1,033 tons
    Speed:  5 ½ kts knots
    Crew:  176
    Armor:  2 ½" front and forward casemate, 5/8" aft, 1 ½" pilothouse
    Armament:  Two 9" Dahlgren and seven 32# smoothbores, seven 42# rifles
    Authorized:  Fall 61
    

    Benton (ex-Submarine No. 7) [Images]: This powerful catamaran ex-wrecking boat served as the flagship on the Mississippi for a couple of years. She was slow, but stronger and more heavily armed than the "City" class boats. Known as the "Old War Horse." Converted at St. Louis MO. Commissioned 24 Feb 62. Fired on Rebel steamer above Island #10 and fired on the island briefly, 15 Mar 62. Bombarded Island #10 16 Mar-7 Apr 62, damaged. Began bombardment of Fort Pillow 13 Apr 62, engaged River Defense Fleet. Battle of Plum Point Bend 10 May 62. Battle of Memphis 6 Jun 62. Engaged CSS Arkansas 15 Jul 62. Bombarded Vicksburg's upper batteries 15-16 Jul 62. Escorted troop transports to Yazoo River 16 Aug 62. Shelled Drumgould's Bluff battery 27 Dec 62, damaged (hit 25 times). Company of troops on board mutinied Feb 63. Shelled and ran past Vicksburg MS 16 Apr 63. Shelled Grand Gulf MS 29 Apr 63; hit 47 times, disabled. Ascended Red River in search of Confederate ram Webb 4 May 63, took possession of Alexandria LA 7 May 63, partially destroyed Fort De Russy. Supported Sherman's forces 19 May 63. Landed guns to support Army operations 18 Jun 63. Shelled Vicksburg 20-24 Jun, 2 Jul 63. Red River Expedition 9 Mar-16 May 64. Passed Bailey's dam at Alexandria 13 May 64. Red River expedition, capture of CSS Missouri 1-6 Jun 65. Decommissioned 20 Jul 65. Plating removed. Sold at Mound City 29 Nov 65 and scrapped. Commanders: LtCdr. S. Ledyard Phelps (Mar-Sep 62), LtCdr. William Gwin (Oct-Dec 62), Lt. George P. Lord (Jan-Feb 63), LtCdr. James A. Greer (Mar 63-Sep 64), Lt. May (Oct 64), LtCdr. Edward Y. McCauley (Nov 64-Jun 65).

    Eastport

    Casemate gunboat
    Dimensions:  length 230', beam 43', draft 6'3"
    Displacement:  700? tons
    Speed:  9 knots?
    Crew:  150?
    Armor:  Uncertain but probably about 2" on the casemate
    Armament:  Four 9" Dahlgren smoothbores, two 100# and two 50# rifles
    

    Eastport (ex-C.E. Hillman) [Images]: Captured from Confederate forces while being built to be CSS Eastport during conversion by USS Lexington, USS Tyler, and USS Conestoga at Cerro Gordo TN below Pittsburg Landing 8 Feb 62. Taken to Cairo IL for completion in Federal service. Completed Aug 62 but bottom quickly deteriorated because of weight of hull and returned to Cairo for rebuilding Oct 62; used as receiving ship during this time. Ready again 9 Jan 63. Patrolled upper Mississippi. Red River expedition, capture of Ft. De Russy May 63. Red River Expedition 9 Mar-26 Apr 64. Cleared obstructions 2 miles below Fort De Russy 12 Mar 64. Retook possession of Ft. de Russy 15 Mar 64. Struck a mine below Grand Ecore LA 15 Apr 64, grounded to avoid sinking. Repaired 21 Apr 64, grounded eight more times in five days as river level fell. Blown up to prevent capture 26 Apr 64. She was originally armed with two additional 9" Dahlgrens but they had to be removed since they were too much burden for her hull. Commander: LtCdr. S. Ledyard Phelps (Sep 62-Mar 64). Note: It was helpfully pointed out to me that the length of this vessel, previously (and widely) given as 280', was inaccurate and that 230' is the more reliable figure. Apparently there were some fiscal shenanigans going on either with her conversion or her scrapping (or both). Thanks to David Meagher for the tip!

    Chillicothe

    Casemate gunboat
    Dimensions:  length 162', beam 50', draft 4'
    Displacement:  395? tons
    Speed:  7 knots
    Crew:  80-100?
    Armor:  2" casemate, 1" deck, 3" pilothouse
    Armament:  Two 11" Dahlgren smoothbores
    Authorized:  1862
    

    Chillicothe (1862) [Images]: A small, weak ironclad, this ship proved unsuccessful in the campaigns around Vicksburg. Built by Brown at Cincinnati OH. Launched 8 Oct 62. Commissioned 3 Dec 62. White River expedition, capture of Fort Hindman 10-11 Jan 63. Yazoo Pass expedition 13 Feb-18 Mar 63, damaged by fire from Fort Pemberton on Tallahatchie River 11 Mar (hit 3 times), 13 Mar (hit 38 times, withdrew when ran low on ammunition), and 16 Mar 63 (hit 8 times, guns rendered unworkable). Red River Expedition 9 Mar-16 May 64. Passed Bailey's dam at Alexandria LA 10 May 64. Silenced battery at Simmesport LA 8 Jun 64. Sold 29 Nov 65 at Mound City. Burned at Cairo IL Sep 72 because the hull was on the beach in the way of the Cairo and Vincennes Railroad. Commanders: LtCdr. James P. Foster (Nov 62-Sep 63), Lt. Henry St.C. Eytinge (Sep-Oct 63), Lt. Joseph P. Couthouy (Nov 63-Mar 64), ActngMst. Smith (Apr-Jun 64), Lt. George P. Lord (Jul 64-May 65).

    Indianola

    Casemate gunboat
    Dimensions:  length 175', beam 52', draft 5'
    Displacement:  511 tons
    Speed:  6 knots
    Crew:  144
    Armor:  3" casemate, 2" rear casemate, 1" deck/sides
    Armament:  Two 11" and two 9" Dahlgren smoothbores
    Authorized:  1862
    

    Indianola [Images]: Similar to the Chillicothe, but larger and better-armed. Built by Brown at Cincinnati OH. Launched 4 Sep 62. Commissioned 14 Jan 63. Ran past Vicksburg MS 13 Feb 63. Blockaded mouth of Red River 19-21 Feb 63. Pursued back upriver 22-23 Feb 63 by Confederate rams. Struck three times by rams near New Carthage MS 24 Feb 63; run aground on Union side of river to avoid sinking. Pulled off and dragged to other side by Confederates; salvage work begun. Blown up by Confederates to prevent recapture when Porter's first dummy ironclad drifted past Vicksburg 4 Mar 63. Occasional salvage efforts by both sides. Wreck shelled by Confederates 11 Dec 63. Refloated by Union 5 Jan 65 and towed to Mound City IL. Plans to reconstruct after a "City"-class pattern abandoned. Sold 29 Nov 65 at Mound City and broken up there. Commander: LtCdr. George Brown (Oct 62-Feb 63).

    Tuscumbia

    Casemate gunboat
    Dimensions:  length 178', beam 75', draft 7'
    Displacement:  915 tons
    Speed:  10 knots
    Crew:  130?
    Armor:  3" casemate, 2" rear casemate, 1" deck/sides
    Armament:  Three 11" and two 9" Dahlgren smoothbores
    Authorized:  1862
    

    Tuscumbia [Images]: Also similar to the Chillicothe, also larger and better-armed. She had grave structural and mechanical problems, however, and spent most of the war after the capture of Vicksburg inactive at Mound City, Illinois. Built by Brown at New Albany IN. Launched 12 Dec 62. Commissioned 12 Mar 63. Recapture of Fort Heiman on Tennessee River 12-14 Mar 63. Reconnaissance of Yazoo River to Hayne's Bluff 1 Apr 63. Shelled and ran past Vicksburg MS 16 Apr 63; drove off Confederate positions at New Carthage. Reconnaissance to Grand Gulf MS 20 Apr 63. Shelled Grand Gulf 29 Apr 63, hit 81 times, engine disabled. Shelled Vicksburg 18-22 May 63. Repairs Aug 63-May 64. Decommissioned Feb 65. Sold 29 Nov 65 at Mound City. Stripped of plating and other fittings and beached near the mouth of the Cache River in 1867. Burned in Oct 70 to get the hulk out of the way. Commander: LtCdr. James W. Shirk (Mar-Oct 63).

    Lafayette

    Casemate ram
    Dimensions:  length 280', beam 66', draft 8'
    Displacement:  1,193 tons
    Speed:  4 knots
    Crew:  210
    Armor:  2 ½" iron over 2" rubber on casemate, ½" deck
    Armament:  Two 11"and four 9" Dahlgren smoothbores, two 100# Parrot rifles
    Authorized:  Summer 62
    

    Lafayette (ex-Fort Henry, ex-Aleck Scott) [Images]: After serving as an Army transport, this large steamboat was converted to a unique-looking ironclad with a hemispherical front casemate. Though not as well-protected as many other ironclads, she had a successful career around Vicksburg and afterward. Converted at St. Louis MO. Commissioned 27 Feb 63. Shelled and ran past Vicksburg 16 Apr 63, hit 9 times; drove off Confederate positions at New Carthage. Shelled Grand Gulf MS 21 Apr and 29 Apr 63. Ascended Red River in search of Confederate ram Webb 4 May 63, took possession of Alexandria LA and damaged Fort De Russy 7 May 63. Shelled works at Simmesport LA 4 Jun 63. Supported troops against Confederate attack at Morganza LA on Bayou Fordoche 29 Sep 63. Red River Expedition 9 Mar-16 May 64. Passed Bailey's dam at Alexandria 13 May 64. Engaged battery while escorting a transport 16 May 64. Pursued CSS Webb 16 Apr 65. Capture of CSS Missouri 1-6 Jun 65. Decommissioned 23 Jul 65. Sold at New Orleans 28 Mar 66 and broken up in St. Louis. Commanders: Capt. Henry Walke (Feb-Aug 63), LtCdr. James P. Foster (Sep 63-May 65).

    Choctaw

    Casemate ram
    Dimensions:  length 260', beam 69', draft 8'
    Displacement:  1,004 tons
    Speed:  7 knots
    Crew:  106
    Armor:  2" casemate, 1" rear casemate, 1" sides, 2" pilothouse
    Armament:  Three 11" Dahlgren smoothbores, two 30# Parrot rifles, two 24#
    Authorized:  Fall 62
    

    Choctaw (ex-Nebraska) [Images]: A large casemated ironclad, outwardly somewhat resembling the Indianola and her near-sisters, but more successful. She was designed as a ram but was too slow to function as one. Converted at St. Louis MO. Commissioned 23 Mar 63. Collided with and sank Union tug Lily 28 Apr 63. Supported feint against Haynes' Bluff on Yazoo River 30 Apr 63, hit 53 times. Supported operations against Haynes' Bluff 18 May 63, hit 46 times. Took possession of Yazoo City and destroyed naval yard 20-23 May 63. Ascended Sunflower River to destroy shipping 24 May 63. Defended Union forces at Milliken's Bend against Confederate counterattack MS 7 Jun 63. Engaged batteries at Hog Point LA 18 Nov 63. Red River Expedition 9 Mar-16 May 64. Passed Bailey's dam at Alexandria 13 May 64. Pursuit of CSS Webb 23 Apr 65. Decommissioned 22 Jul 65. Sold to breakers 28 Mar 66. Commanders: LtCdr. Francis M. Ramsay (Mar 63-Sep 64), LtCdr. John J. Cornwell (Oct 64-May 65).

    Neosho Class

    Single turret monitors
    Dimensions:  length 180', beam 45', draft 4'6"
    Displacement:  523 tons
    Speed:  7 ½ kts knots
    Crew:  100
    Armor:  6" turret, 2 ½" sides, 2" deck
    Armament:  Two 11" Dahlgren smoothbores
    Authorized:  18 May 62
    

    Neosho Class: A unique class of stern-wheel monitors with an extremely light draft. The first use of a periscope in naval combat was aboard the Osage in 1864. Despite their unusual design, they were successful vessels.

  • Neosho [Images]: Built by Eads at Carondelet MO. Launched 18 Feb 63. Commissioned 13 May 63. Patrol of lower Mississippi Sep 63. Bombarded battery at Morganza LA 8 Dec 63. Red River Expedition 9 Mar-16 May 64. Passed Bailey's dam at Alexandria 9 May 64 (minor damage). Silenced battery at Simmesport LA 8 Jun 64. Ordered to Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers 1 Dec 64. Silenced battery at Bell's Mill 6 Dec 64, hit 100 times without serious damage. Supported turning of Confederate army flank near Nashville 15 Dec 64. Decommissioned 23 Jul 65. Renamed Vixen 15 Jun 69. Renamed Osceola 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers 17 Aug 73. Commander: Lt. Samuel Howard (Sep 63-May 65).
  • Osage [Images]: Built by Eads at Carondelet MO. Launched 13 Jan 63. Commissioned 10 Jul 63. Ascended Black River 29 Feb 64. Turret jammed by fire (damaged teeth in gearing) on Ouachita River 2 Mar 64. Red River Expedition 9 Mar-16 May 64; cleared obstructions 2 miles below Fort de Russy 12 Mar 64. Ran aground opposite Blair's Landing LA 12 Apr 64 and attacked by Confederate artillery; during the action, the commander used a periscope rigged by the chief engineer to direct fire from the turret, the first time such a device was used in naval combat. Passed Bailey's dam at Alexandria 9 May 64. Ran aground on a knoll Jun 64, ends drooped; freed again by Sep 64. WGBS. On 29 Mar 65, while trying to avoid a collision with USS Winnebago, struck a mine and sank in very shallow water in Blakely River above Mobile AL, 4 killed. Raised and hull sold 22 Nov 67; became a merchant ship. Possibly sunk in Sodo Lake near Shreveport LA May 1870. Commanders: Cdr. John C. Febiger (May-Jul 63), Lt. Joseph P. Couthouy (Jul-Oct 63), Lt. Wright (Nov 63-Feb 64), LtCdr. Thomas O. Selfridge, Jr. (Mar-May 64), Lt. George W. Rogers (Sep 64-Jan 65), LtCdr. Willam M. Gamble (early 65).
  • Ozark

    Single turret monitor
    Dimensions:  length 180', beam 50', draft 5'
    Displacement:  578? tons
    Speed:  8 knots
    Crew:  120
    Armor:  6" turret, 2 ½" sides, 1 ¼" deck
    Armament:  Two 11", one 10", three 9" Dahlgren smoothbores
    Authorized:  14 May 62
    

    Ozark [Images]: Sometimes classed with the Neosho class but considerably different and less successful. She was propeller-driven and had a large deckhouse aft, with several unarmored pivot guns in addition to the turret. She was originally designed for an underwater gun that never materialized, and she used a disproportionate amount of coal. Built by Hambleton & Collier at Mound City IL. Launched 18 Feb 63. Commissioned 18 Feb 64. Red River Expedition 9 Mar-16 May 64. Passed Bailey's dam at Alexandria LA 12 May 64 (minor damage). Decommissioned 24 Jul 65. Sold to breakers 29 Nov 65 at Mound City. Rear Admiral Porter called her "a miserable vessel." Commanders: ActngMst. George W. Browne (Mar 64-Mar 65), ActngMst. John Powell (Apr-May 65).

    Milwaukee class

    Twin turret monitors
    Dimensions:  length 229', beam 56', draft 6'
    Displacement:  1,300 tons
    Speed:  8 knots
    Crew:  138
    Armor:  8" turrets, 3" sides, 1 ½" deck, 3" pilothouse
    Armament:  Four 11" Dahlgren smoothbores
    Authorized:  May 62
    

    Milwaukee Class: A successful class of twin-turret riverine ironclads, developed from the Neosho design but propeller-driven.

  • Winnebago [Images]: Built by Eads at Carondelet MO. Launched 4 Jul 63. Commissioned 27 Apr 64. Exchanged fire with a battery at Como Landing on Mississippi 15 Jun 64. Battle of Mobile Bay 5 Aug 64, engaged CSS Tennessee, hit 19 times, Ericsson turret broke down after passing Fort Morgan, no casualties. Towed away Tennessee after her surrender. Bombarded Fort Morgan 9-22 Aug 64. Boat expedition captured four sloops at Bon Secours Bay AL 5 Jan 65. Bombarded Spanish Fort 28 Mar 65. Blockaded CSS Nashville and CSS Baltic up Tombigbee River 28 Apr 65. Decommissioned 27 Sep 65. Renamed Tornado 15 Jun 69. Renamed Winnebago 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers 12 Sep 74. Commanders: Cdr. Thomas H. Stevens (Aug 64), Lt. William F. Shankland (late 64-Nov 64), LtCdr. William A. Kirkland (Nov 64-Jul 65).
  • Chickasaw [Images]: Built by Gaylord at Cincinnati OH. Launched 10 Feb 64. Commissioned 14 May 64. WGBS. Battle of Mobile Bay 5 Aug 64, engaged CSS Tennessee, towing that vessel away after its surrender; bombarded Fort Powell, forcing its abandonment. Bombarded Fort Gaines 6-7 Aug 64. Bombarded Fort Morgan 9-22 Aug 64. Bombarded Spanish Fort 28 Mar 65. Decommissioned 6 Jul 65. Renamed Samson 15 Jun 69. Renamed Chickasaw 10 Aug 69. Sold 12 Sep 74 at New Orleans to the New Orleans Pacific Railroad. Acquired by the Texas & Pacific Railroad in 1881 and converted to a sidewheel railroad ferry. Renamed Gouldsboro 1882. Rebuilt twice between 1881 and 1938; hull virtually replaced 1910. Active until 1941. Some discussion about making the ship into a museum at Mobile AL but nothing came of it; broken up 1944. Commanders: ActngMst. James Fitzpatrick (May-Jul 64), LtCdr. George H. Perkins (Aug 64-May 65).
  • Kickapoo [Images]: Built by Eads at Carondelet MO. Launched 12 Mar 64. Commissioned 8 Jul 64. WGBS. 28 Mar 65 bombarded Spanish Fort. Decommissioned 29 Jul 65. Renamed Cyclops 15 Jun 69. Renamed Kewaydin 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers 12 Sep 74. Commanders: Lt. David C. Woods (late 64), Lt. Meriwether P. Jones (early 65).
  • Milwaukee [Images]: Built by Eads at Carondelet MO. Launched 4 Feb 64. Commissioned 27 Aug 64. WGBS. Bombarded Spanish Fort 28 Mar 65; struck a mine and sank in Blakely River while withdrawing, no casualties. Raised 1868; it is said that some of her iron was used to construct the Eads Bridge at St. Louis. Commanders: Lt. James H. Magune (late 64), LtCdr. James H. Gillis (early 65).
  • Marietta class

    Single turret monitors
    Dimensions:  length 173' 11 ½", beam 51'2", draft 4'6"
    Displacement:  479? tons
    Speed:  6-7 knots
    Crew:  100
    Armor:  6" turret, 1 ¼" sides, ¾" deck
    Armament:  Two 11" Dahlgren smoothbores
    Authorized:  16 May 62
    

    Marietta Class: Constructed to a design similar to the Ozark, these ships' construction was delayed by strikes and supply problems, and they were not completed until after the war. Both were moored in the Allegheny at Pittsburgh until 22 Feb 66, then towed to Mound City and laid up.

  • Marietta: Built by Tomlinson at Pittsburgh PA. Launched 4 Jan 65. Never commissioned. Renamed Circe 15 Jun 69. Renamed Marietta 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers 12 Apr 73.
  • Sandusky: Built by Tomlinson at Pittsburgh PA. Launched 20 Jan 65. Never commissioned. Renamed Minerva 15 Jun 69. Renamed Sandusky 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers 12 Apr 73.

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