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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Baron De Kalb
ex
USS St. Louis (II) (1861 - 1862)


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Cairo Class Centernwheel casemate Iron-clad River Gunboat :
  • Built in 1861, for the War Department as the centerwheel casemate gunboat St. Louis at Carondelet, MO., by James B. Eads
  • Launched, 12 October 1861
  • Commissioned, USS St. Louis, January 1862, LT. L. Paulding in command
  • Renamed USS Baron De Kalb, 8 September 1862
  • 1 October 1862 custody transferred to the US Navy
  • During the Civil War USS St. Louis / USS Baron De Kalb participated in the following actions:
    6 February 1862 capture of Fort Henry on the Tennessee River
    14 to 16 February capture of Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River
    April and June operations against Fort Pillow
    21 to 28 December the Yazoo Expedition
    10-11 January 1863 the capture of Arkansas Post
    12 to 14 January the White River Expedition
    20 February to 5 April Yazoo Pass Expedition
    11 to 13 March the action at Fort Pemberton
    29 April to 2 May the action at Haines' Bluff
    20 to 23 May action at Yazoo City, MS.
    24 to 31 May the Yazoo River Expedition
  • Final Disposition, 13 July 1863 sunk by a torpedo in the Yazoo River
    Specifications:
    Displacement 512 t.
    Length 175'
    Beam 51' 2"
    Draft 6'
    Speed 9 mph
    Complement 251
    Armament
    seven 32-pdrs smooth bore guns
    two 8" gun smooth bore guns
    four 42-pdr rifles>
    Propulsion
    two Thomas Merrett, Cincinnati, O. horizontal non-condensing steam engines
    five 36 inches x 24 feet diameter boilers
    twin propellers

    TR>
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    USS St. Louis
    Carondelet 104k "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, Pittsburgh and Saint Louis.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59001
    Robert Hurst
    Carondelet 89k "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, Pittsburgh 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.
    U.S. National Archives. Photo #: 165-C-703
    Robert Hurst
    Benton 80k "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):
    USS Mound City,
    USS Essex,
    USS Cairo,
    USS Saint Louis,
    USS Louisville,
    USS Benton,
    USS Pittsburgh. and
    USS Lexington.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo #: NH 59002
    Robert Hurst
    Carondelet 111k "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, Pittsburgh and Saint Louis. Note flagpole in the left background.
    U.S. National Archives. Photo #: 165-C-702
    Robert Hurst
    Louisville 166k Wood-cut engraving "WAR IN THE WEST--THE NEW GUNBOAT FLOTILLA, COMMODORE FOOTE BUILT AT CARONDELET MISSOURI, FOR THE DESCENT OF THE MISSISSIPPI", published in "Frank Leslie's Illustrated" December 1861, Left to Right;
    USS Louisville
    USS Carondelet
    Transport, name unknown
    USS Pittsburgh
    Transport, name unknown
    USS St. Louis
    Tommy Trampp
    St. Louis 179k "Battle of Fort Henry, 6 February 1862."
    Line engraving after a drawing by Rear Admiral Henry Walke, published in the "History of the Great Rebellion", by Harper. The print depicts the Federal gunboats USS Saint Louis, USS Carondelet, USS Essex and USS Cincinnati bombarding Fort Henry.
    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Photo #: NH 42336. Courtesy of Paul H. Silverstone, 1981.
    Robert Hurst
    Tyler 77k "The Gun-boat Attack on the Water Batteries at Fort Donelson". Line engraving, based on a sketch by Alexander Simplot, published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting the bombardment of Fort Donelson, Tennessee, by Federal warships, 14 February 1862. Many of the ships were damaged in this action. As identified on the engraving, they are (from left to right):
    "Timberclads"
    USS Tyler and
    USS Conestoga;
    "Ironclads"
    USS Carondelet,
    USS Pittsburg,
    USS Louisville and
    USS Saint Louis.
    US Navy History and Heritage Command photo # NH 58898.
    Robert Hurst
    St. Louis 114k "Bombardment and Capture of Island Number Ten on the Mississippi River, April 7, 1862."
    Colored lithograph published by Currier & Ives, New York, circa 1862. It depicts the bombardment of the Confederate fortifications on Island Number Ten by Federal gunboats and mortar boats. Ships seen include (from left to right):
    USS Mound City;
    USS Louisville;
    USS Pittsburgh;
    USS Carondelet;
    USS Benton;
    USS Cincinnati;
    USS Saint Louis;
    USS Conestoga.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # KN 9691
    Robert Hurst
    St. Louis 126k "Brilliant Naval Victory on the Mississippi River, Near Fort Wright, May 10th 1862."
    Brilliant Naval Victory on the Mississippi River, Near Fort Wright, May 10th 1862 by the Union Flotilla of 6 Gunboats, commanded by Com. C.H. Davis, and the Rebel fleet of 8 Iron-clads, under Hollins. The action lasted one hour. Two of the Rebel gunboats were blown up and one sunk, when the remainder retired precipitately under the guns of the fort.
    Lithograph by Currier & Ives, New York, providing a curious (and quite inaccurate) view of the action off Fort Pillow in which the Confederate River Defense Fleet, under Captain James E. Montgomery, attacked Federal gunboats. The print identifies the following ships (from left to right):
    CSS Mallory (non-existent vessel), shown sinking);
    CSS Louisiana (an ironclad that had already been destroyed by this time);
    USS Cincinnati;
    USS Benton;
    USS Cairo;
    USS Carondelet;
    USS Saint Louis; and
    USS Conestoga.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 42365. Collection of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, April 1936
    Robert Hurst
    General Beauregard 177k "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 foreground, the print depicts the Confederate ships (from left to right):
    CSS General M. Jeff Thompson (shown sinking);
    CSS Little Rebel (shown burning);
    CSS General Sterling Price;
    CSS General Beauregard (shown being jammed by the Ellet Ram
    USS Monarch;
    CSS General Bragg (shown aground) and
    CSS Colonel Lovell (shown sinking). In the background are the Federal warships (from left to right):
    USS Queen of the West;
    USS Cairo;
    USS Carondelet;
    USS Louisville;
    USS Saint Louis; a tug; and
    USS Benton. The city of Memphis is in the right distance, with a wharf boat by the shore. Harpers Weekly, 28 June 1862.
    Sons of the South - Memphis Naval Battle
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 58891
    Robert Hurst
    Mount City 122k "Battle at St. Charles, White River, Arkansas--Explosion of the USS Mound City".
    Line engraving after a sketch by Alexander Simplot, published in Harper's Weekly, 1862. This action between Federal gunboats and Confederate shore batteries took place on 17 June 1862. USS Mound City was disabled by a shot that penetrated her steam drum, causing heavy casualties among her crew. Other U.S. ships present were the ironclad USS Saint Louis (seen in the right foreground) and "timberclads" USS Lexington and USS Conestoga. The gunboat in left center is a "timberclads".
    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photo #NH 59057.
    Robert HurstUSS Baron De Kalb
    Baron de Kalb 36k
    Namesake

    KALB, Johann, called Baron de Kalb (1721-80), German-born soldier, who fought in the American Revolution. Born in Hüttendorf, near Bayreuth, in Bavaria, he became a lieutenant in a German regiment of the French army at the age of 22; he fought with distinction in the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years' War, rising to the rank of brigadier general by 1761. In 1768 Kalb was sent to America as an agent of the French government to determine the attitude of the colonies toward Great Britain. He returned to America in 1777 and joined the revolutionary army with the rank of major general. He served briefly under Gen. George Washington before the winter encampment at Valley Forge and later was sent south to help Gen. Horatio Gates. He was second in command to Gates at the disastrous Battle of Camden, S.C., in August 1780. Kalb's troops were finally forced to retreat before the army of Lord Charles Cornwallis, but Kalb himself was wounded and captured by the British. He died of wounds three days after his capture.
    Tommy Trampp
    Baron de Kalb 152k Currier & Ives Lithographed and hand colored Civil War Battle Scene print from 1960. "THE BOMBARDMENT AND CAPTURE OF FORT HINDMAN, ARKANSAS POST, ARK., JAN.11, 1863". Hand colored though silk-screen stencils this Civil War print came from a limited edition in 1960. Ships participating in the bombardment include:
    USS Baron De Kalb
    USS Cincinnati
    USS Louisville
    USS Black Hawk and
    USS Rattler
    Tommy Trampp
    Benton 155k "Battle of Grand Gulf, First position, R. Ad. D.D. Porter Commanding". Engraving published in Rear Admiral Henry Walke's Naval Scenes and Reminiscences of the Civil War in the United States ... (1877), depicting U.S. Navy ironclads engaging Confederate batteries at Grand Gulf, Mississippi, 29 April 1863. US ships present, as identified on the print, are (from left-center to right):
    USS Benton,
    USS Tuscumbia,
    USS Pittsburgh,
    USS Lafayette,
    USS Louisville,
    USS Baron De Kalb, (Identified as St. Louis in the engraving) and
    USS Carondelet,.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 1852
    Robert Hurst
    Baron de Kalb 101k "City" Class ironclad gunboats off Cairo, Illinois, in 1863, with barges moored in the foreground. These ships are (from left to right); USS Baron de Kalb, USS Cincinnati and USS Mound City. Boats are tied astern of Baron de Kalb and Cincinnati. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Photo # NH 56663-A. Courtesy of Paul H. Silverstone, 1981. Robert Hurst
    Baron de Kalb 242k USS Baron DeKalb, circa 1862, location unknown. Photographer unknown.
    U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, cataloged under the ARC Identifier (National Archives Identifier) 533123.
    Robert Hurst
    Baron de Kalb 168k Line engraving by George Perine & Co., New York, circa 1865 of USS Baron De Kalb
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 78178.
    Aryeh Wetherhorn
    Baron de Kalb 55k Watercolor by Oscar Parkes of USS Baron De Kalb. Courtesy of Dr. Oscar Parkes, London, England, 1936.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59547.
    Aryeh Wetherhorn

    USS St. Louis / USS Baron De Kalb
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    Last Updated 31 March 2017