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Louisville (1862-1865)

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USS Louisville, a 512-ton Cairo class ironclad river gunboat, was built at Saint Louis, Missouri, and commissioned in January 1862. During February - June 1862, while serving in the U.S. Army's Western Gunboat Flotilla in a successful campaign to secure the upper Mississippi and its tributaries, she participated in actions at Fort Donelson, Island Number Ten, Memphis and Vicksburg.

Transferred to the Navy in October 1862, Louisville took part in operations above Vicksburg during the rest of that year and into 1863. In April 1863, she was one of the Federal ships that ran past Vicksburg's batteries and later engaged Confederate fortifications at Grand Gulf. In March, April and May 1864, Louisville was a unit of the squadron operating in support of the Red River campaign. She remained active on the Western Rivers until the end of the Civil War. Decommissioned in July 1865, USS Louisville was sold in November 1865.

This page features views of USS Louisville and provides links to pictures of her actions.

For additional images, showing USS Louisville's Civil War actions, see:

  • USS Louisville -- Actions and Activities.

    Photo #: NH 55827

    USS Louisville (1862-1865)


    Wash drawing by F. Muller, circa 1900.

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



    Photo #: NH 49996

    USS Louisville (1862-1865)


    Alongside a barge at a Western Rivers city, during the Civil War.



    Photo #: NH 51426

    USS Louisville (1862-1865)


    Halftone reproduction of a photograph taken on the Western Rivers, during the Civil War.

    Copied from Francis Trevelyn Miller's "The Photographic History of the Civil War", Volume 6, page 150.



    Photo #: NH 59002

    "Commodore Foote's Gun-boat Flotilla on the Mississippi"


    Line engraving after a sketch by Alexander Simplot, published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862.
    Ships are identified below the image as (from left to right): Mound City, Essex, Cairo, Saint Louis, Louisville, Benton, Pittsburg and Lexington.



    Photo #: 165-C-703

    "City" Class armored gunboats


    Under construction by James Eads, at St. Louis, Missouri, prior to October 1861.
    This view shows four ships being built in pairs, at two levels on the shore, with casemate side timbers largely installed. Vertical timbers extending above the slanting casemate sides are framing for the ships' paddle-wheel boxes.
    The four ships of this class built at St. Louis were Carondelet, Louisville, Pittsburg and Saint Louis.
    Note building and flagpole in the right background, timber stockpile in the foreground, and twin rudder posts at the ships' sterns with the paddle raceway between them.

    Photograph from the Collections of the U.S. National Archives.

    Photo #: 165-C-702

    "City" Class armored gunboats


    Under construction by James Eads, at St. Louis, Missouri, prior to October 1861.
    This view looks along the main deck on one gunboat, with its boilers in the foreground and casemate timbers at the sides. Another vessel is beyond, with some spar deck beams atop the casemate side timbers and upright framing in place for her wheel box.
    The four ships of this class built at St. Louis were Carondelet, Louisville, Pittsburg and Saint Louis.
    Note flagpole in the left background.

    Photograph from the Collections of the U.S. National Archives.

    Photo #: NH 59001

    "United States Mississippi Gun-boats being built at Carondelet, near St. Louis, Missouri"


    Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 5 October 1861.
    It depicts, rather inaccurately, the construction of four of the "City" class ironclads by James Eads, including Carondelet, Louisville, Pittsburg and Saint Louis.



    For additional images, showing USS Louisville's Civil War actions, see:

  • USS Louisville -- Actions and Activities.

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