Today in History:

Louisiana (1862-1862)

CSS Louisiana, a 1400-ton ironclad, was built at New Orleans, Louisiana, beginning in October 1861. Still incomplete when Federal forces threatened the Mississippi River defenses below New Orleans, on 20 April 1862 she was towed down the river to serve as a floating battery supporting Forts St. Philip and Jackson. Four days later, as Flag Officer David Glasgow Farragut ran his U.S. Navy squadron up the river past the forts, Louisiana fired on some of the attacking ships as they passed her mooring. The forts surrendered on 28 April, and her crew abandoned the Confederate ironclad and set her afire. The blazing hulk of CSS Louisiana drifted downstream and exploded as she passed Fort St. Philip.

This page features all the views we have related to CSS Louisiana.

Photo #: NH 1734

CSS Louisiana

19th Century photograph of a lithograph by Bowen & Company, depicting the ship "as she appeared previous to the explosion" that destroyed her in the Mississippi River near Fort St. Philip, 28 April 1862.

Photo #: NH 51417

CSS Louisiana

Blueprint reproduction of a sketch plan of the ship's gun deck as it was during the 24 April 1862 battle off the lower Mississippi River forts, showing the location of her battery and other features. Also included is a sketch of her appearance.

Photo #: NH 58876

CSS Louisiana

Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting the ship blowing up off Fort St. Philip, Louisiana, on 18 April 1862, after the Confederates surrendered the lower Mississippi River fortifications.

Photo #: NH 59071

Farragut's fleet passing Forts Jackson & St. Philip

Line engraving published in "Virtue", depicting the battle, which took place on the lower Mississippi River during the night of 24 April 1862.
A key to the forts and specific U.S. and Confederate ships is given at the bottom of the view.
The ships include USS Varuna (in action with Confederate gunboats), USS Brooklyn, USS Pawnee (which was not present), USS Hartford (Farragut's flagship, with a fire raft alongside), USS Pensacola, USS Mississippi, CSS Louisiana (exploding), CSS Manassas and Federal mortar vessels.