Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Watercolors of Civil War ironclads by Ens. D. M. N. Stouffer, ca. 1864-65. (David Dixon Porter Papers)

The vessels shown here were all part of the Mississippi Squadron under the command of Adm. David Dixon Porter (1813-1891). The squadron was created on 1 October 1862, by the transfer of command of the Western Flotilla from the army to the navy. Its purpose was to cooperate with Union land forces in combating guerrillas operating along the western rivers, to punish Confederate sympathizers, to protect transport and supply ships, and to prevent the movement of Confederate troops and supplies.

The Essex was an ironclad gunboat built in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1856. Originally commissioned the New Era, she served as a ferry until 1861, when she was purchased by the War Department and renamed. The Essex played an important part in the Vicksburg and Port Hutson campaigns.

The Choctaw, a side-wheel steamer built in 1853, was purchased by the government in 1862 and converted to an ironclad ram. The vessel spent the entire war patrolling the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

[quoted from Library of Congress, American Memory] Read about other vessels in the Mississippi Squadron by clicking on the link below:

John R. Sellers, Manuscript Division