Today in History:

Keokuk (1863-1863)

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USS Keokuk, a 677-ton ironclad, was built at New York City. Originally named Moodna (sometimes incorrectly spelled "Woodna"), she was renamed prior to her December 1862 launching, and was commissioned in early March 1863. Keokuk arrived at Port Royal, South Carolina, later in that month to take up her duties with the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

On 7 April, she joined USS New Ironsides and seven monitors in an attack on Fort Sumter, centerpiece of the formidible defenses of Charleston, South Carolina. Under the fire of heavy Confederate guns for more than half an hour, Keokuk was struck by about ninety projectiles, many of which hit at or below her waterline. Her experimental armor, featuring alternating rows of wood and iron, was completely inadequate to protect her from this onslaught and she was "completely riddled". Though Keokuk was able to withdraw and anchor out of range, she sank on the morning of 8 April 1863, after about one month of commissioned service.

This page features all our views of USS Keokuk and provides links to views related to her activities.

For additional pictures related to USS Keokuk, see:

  • USS Keokuk -- Activities and Relics.

    Photo #: NH 59546

    USS Keokuk
    (1863-1863)

    Watercolor by Oscar Parkes.

    Courtesy of Dr. Oscar Parkes, London, England, 1936.



    Photo #: NH 61998

    USS Keokuk
    (1863-1863)

    Engraved reproduction of an artwork by R.G. Skerrett, 1901.



    Photo #: NH 74555

    USS Keokuk
    (1863-1863)

    Drawing by Fred S. Cozzens, published in "Our Navy -- Its Growth and Achievements", 1897, depicting the ship at sea during the Civil War.



    Photo #: NH 52050

    USS Keokuk
    (1863-1863)

    Lithograph by T. Bonar, New York, depicting the ship while she was under construction at the Jeronemus S. Underhill Dry Dock & Iron Works, New York City, shortly before her 6 December 1862 launching.



    Photo #: NH 82386-KN (color)

    USS Keokuk (1863-1863)

    Hand-tinted copy of a line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1863, depicting the ship on the building ways at the J.S. Underhill shipyard, New York City, at about the time of her 6 December 1862 launching.

    Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.



    Photo #: NH 58750

    USS Keokuk
    (1863-1863)

    Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1863, depicting the ship on the building ways at the J.S. Underhill shipyard, New York City, at about the time of her 6 December 1862 launching.



    The following views are relatively inaccurate depictions of Keokuk's appearance:

    Photo #: NH 58748

    USS Keokuk
    (1863-1863)

    Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 23 August 1862, roughly depicting the ship's intended appearance. Designed by Charles W. Whitney, she was then under construction at New York City.



    Photo #: NH 58749

    USS Keokuk
    (1863-1863)

    Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, giving a very rough depiction of the ship's intended appearance. She was originally named Moodna, but was renamed Keokuk while under construction.



    Photo #: NH 58752

    U.S. Navy Warships, 1862


    Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting several contemporary U.S. Navy ironclad and conventional warships. They are (from left to right: Puritan (in the original twin-turret design); Catskill; Montauk, Keokuk (citing her original name, "Woodna"); Passaic; Galena (behind Roanoke, with name not cited); Roanoke; Winona; New Ironsides; Naugatuck; Brooklyn and Monitor.



    The following pictures feature a small image of Keokuk within a view of another subject:

    Photo #: NH 464-KN (Color)

    Civil War Ironclads at Sea

    Chromolithograph by Armstrong & Company, after an 1893 watercolor by Fred S. Cozzens, published in "Our Navy -- Its Growth and Achievements", 1897.
    Ships depicted are (from left to right):
    Monadnock class twin-turret monitor;
    Passaic class single-turret monitor (in foreground);
    USS Naugatuck;
    USS Keokuk
    USS New Ironsides and
    USS Nantucket.

    Collection of Captain Glenn Howell, USN, 1974.



    Photo #: NH 59260

    "New Map of Charleston Harbor"

    "Showing the Scene of the Great Naval Contest between the Iron Clad Monitors and the Rebel Batteries, also the Lines of Fire, Forts, Obstructions, Princ'l. Plantations, & E.t.c."

    Lithograph by J. Mayer & Co., published in 1863 by G.W. Tomlinson, Boston, Massachusetts. The print features, in its lower right, small drawings of a monitor (labeled "The Ericsson Devil"), USS Keokuk, Fort Sumter, Fort Moultrie and Castle Pinckney. Along its right side are descriptions of Charleston's defenses.

    Copied from The Library of Congress: "Civil War Maps Annotated", N.R. 376.



    Online Image: 344KB; 945 x 1225 pixels

    For additional pictures related to USS Keokuk, see:

  • USS Keokuk -- Activities and Relics.

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