Today in History:

De Soto (1861-1862)

De Soto, a 390-ton side-wheel river steamer, was built at New Albany, Indiana, in 1860. In 1862, Confederate forces employed her as a gunboat on the Mississippi River. She was captured by the United States at Island Number Ten on 7 April 1862. In October 1862, after briefly serving as a U.S. Army transport, she became USS General Lyon.

This page features our only view of CSS De Soto.

Photo #: NH 59024

"View of Steamers Sunk by the Rebels Between Island Number Ten and New Madrid"

Line engraving, based on a sketch by Alexander Simplot, published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting ships sunk by the Confederates off their fortifications at Island Number 10, circa 7 April 1862.
As identified on the engraving, the ships are (from left to right): Champion, Yazoo, Grampus, John Simonds, Red Rover, Prince, Admiral, Ohio Belle, De Soto, Kanawha Valley, Winchester and Mars. Most of these vessels, some of which were not sunk, were later employed by the Union forces.