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In September 1862 LCDR. William Gwin took command of the big ironclad Benton. On 27 December 1862, in a heated engagement with Confederate artillery on the Yazoo River, his ship was seriously damaged and Gwin mortally wounded. LCDR. William Gwin died from his wounds on 3 January 1863. In reporting his death to the Navy Department, Gwin's squadron commander, Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter, remarked: "The country has lost one of its bravest officers." Photo from the collections of the Library of Congress.
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|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
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 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
|358k||"Admiral Porter's Fleet Running the Rebel Blockade of the Mississippi at Vicksburg, April 16th 1863." Text under the print's title reads:
"At half past ten P.M. the boats left their moorings & steamed down the river, the Benton, Admiral Porter, taking the lead -- as they approached the point
opposite the town, a terrible concentrated fire of the center, upper and lower batteries, both water and bluff, were directed upon the channel, which here ran within
one hundred yards of the shore. At the same moment innumerable floats of turpentine and other combustible materials were set ablaze. In the face of all this fire, the
boats made their way with but little loss except the transport Henry Clay which was set on fire & sunk."
Ships depicted are (from the front to the rear:
USS Benton (flagship);
USS Lafayette with
USS General Price alongside;
USS Mound City;
USS Carondelet; transports
SS Silver Wave;
SS Forest Queen;
SS Henry Clay; and
Currier & Ives, New York. Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Beverley R. Robinson Collection.
US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 76557-KN (Color)
|40k||USS Choctaw and USS Benton on the Western Rivers, circa 1863.
"Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper", 22 August 1863.
|88k||USS Benton off Natchez, Mississippi, in July 1864.
US Navy photo # NH 56664 from the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command
|63k||Wash drawing by F. Muller, circa 1900, depicting USS Benton on the Western Rivers during the Civil War. Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.
US Navy photo # NH 55828 from the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command
|96k||Wash drawing by R.G. Skerrett, 1900, depicting USS Benton off Natchez, MS., in July 1864. Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.
US Navy photo # NH 75623 from the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command
|99k||Inboard and outboard drawings prepared at the time USS Benton was converted for Civil War emplacement. "The Iron Clad Gunboat Benton designed and constructed by Jas. B. Eads, St. Louis, Mo. By order of Maj. Genl. J.C. Fremont, U.S.A.. Commanding Western Department -- Sept. 1861." Courtesy of Lieutenant Commander Lyle W. Eads, USN (Retired).
US Navy photo # NH 68439 from the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command
|01||LT. Bishop, Joshua||24 February 1862 - 15 May 1862|
|02||LT. Phelps, Seth Ledyard||11 May 1862 - 15 September 1862|
|03||LCDR. Gwin, William||15 September 1862 - 3 January 1863 (KIA)|
|04||Acting Master Lord, George P.||3 January 1863 - February 1863|
|05||LCDR. Greer, James Augustine||February 1863 - September 1864|
|06||LCDR. May, Robert L.||September 1864 - 7 November 1864|
|07||LCDR. McCauley, Edward Yorke||7 November 1864 - 20 July 1865|
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