Today in History:

Fern (1862-1865)

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Intrepid, a 45-ton screw tug built for the U.S. Army at Saint Louis, Missouri, in 1861, was transferred to the Navy in October 1862. Soon renamed Fern, she served the Mississippi Squadron as a tug during the rest of the Civil War, taking part in expeditions on the Yazoo River in March 1863 and the Red River in June 1865. USS Fern was sold in August 1865 and was thereafter employed as a civilian tug, under the same name, until about 1877.

This page features our only view of USS Fern.

Photo #: NH 54095

USS Fern (1862-1865)


Halftone photograph of the tug Fern assisting a "city" class armored gunboat, on the Western Rivers during the Civil War.
The original image caption's identification of the ironclad as USS Benton is in error.

Courtesy of Frederick Way, Jr., October 1941.



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