Today in History:

General Sterling Price (1862-1862)

CSS General Sterling Price a 633-ton side-wheel river steamer, was built at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1856 as the commercial towboat Laurent Millaudon. Taken over by the Confederacy and renamed General Sterling Price, she was converted in early 1862 to a "cottonclad" ram at New Orleans as a unit of the River Defense Fleet. In March 1862, she was sent up the Mississippi River to Memphis, Tennessee, for completion. During April, May and June 1862 General Sterling Price served in the defenses of Memphis. She rammed and disabled the U.S. ironclad Cincinnati in the naval action off Fort Pillow, Tennessee, on 10 May and received serious damage in return. After repairs General Sterling Price took part in the battle off Memphis on 6 June, in which she was disabled and sunk in shallow water. She was salvaged by the U.S. forces and later became USS General Price.

This page features our only views of CSS General Sterling Price.

Photo #: NH 2049

"Battle of Fort Pillow, First position"

Engraving published in Rear Admiral Henry Walke's "Naval Scenes and Reminiscences of the Civil War in the United States ..." (1877), depicting the action between the Confederate River Defense Fleet and Federal ironclads near Fort Pillow, Tennessee, 10 May 1862.
Confederate ships, seen at right, include (from left to right): General Earl Van Dorn, General Sterling Price, General Bragg, General Sumter and Little Rebel.
The Federal ironclads, in the center and left, are (from left to right): Mound City, Carondelet and Cincinnati. A Federal mortar boat is by the river bank in the lower right.

Photo #: NH 58891

"The Great Naval Battle before Memphis, June 6, 1862"

Engraving after a sketch by Alexander Simplot, published in "Harper's Weekly", depicting the action between the Confederate River Defense Fleet and Federal warships off Memphis, Tennessee.
In the center foreground the CSS General Beauregard is being rammed by the Federal ram Monarch. At left are the disabled Federal ram Queen of the West and the Confederate ships General Sterling Price and Little Rebel. Other Federal ships are in the center and left distance, with other Confederate ships in the center and right middle distance.

Photo #: NH 42367

"The Total Annihilation of the Rebel Fleet by the Federal Fleet under Commodore Davis."

"On the Morning of June 6th 1862, off Memphis, Ten."

Lithograph by Middleton, Strobridge & Co.
In the foreground, the print depicts the Confederate ships (from left to right): General M. Jeff Thompson (shown sinking); Little Rebel (shown burning); General Sterling Price; General Beauregard (shown being rammed by the Ellet Ram Monarch); General Bragg (shown aground) and Colonel Lovell (shown sinking).
In the background are the Federal warships (from left to right): Queen of the West; Cairo; Carondelet; Louisville; Saint Louis; a tug; and Benton.
The city of Memphis is in the right distance, with a wharf boat by the shore.

Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation.

Note: Our Photo # NH 55834 was long identified as representing CSS General Sterling Price. However, it clearly does not depict that ship.