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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Mississippi (I)


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Sidewheel steamer:
  • Laid down in 1839 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard
  • Commissioned USS Mississippi, 22 December 1841, CAPT. W. D. Salter in command
  • Launched several weeks later
  • USS Mississippi was initially assigned to the Home Squadron
  • Assigned to the West Indian Squadron in 1845 as flagship
  • During the Mexican War she took part in expeditions against Alvarado, Tampico, Panuco, and Laguna do los Terminos, Vera Cruz and Tabasco
  • Reassigned to the Mediterranean in 1849
  • Assigned as Commodore Perry's flagship in 1852 for his voyage to Japan
  • Placed in ordinary at Boston in 1860
  • During the Civil War USS Mississippi participated in the following campaigns/actions
    Reactivated in 1861 for blockade duty off Key West (8 June 1861)
    Assault on New Orleans in the spring of 1862 (7 April 1862)
    Engagement at Forts Jackson and St. Philip (24 April 1862)
    Operations against Port Hudson, Mississippi, grounded under enemy fire (14 March 1863)
  • Final Disposition, with machinery destroyed her battery was spiked and she was fired to prevent Confederate capture, her magazines exploded and she sank with the loss of 64 KIA
    Specifications:
    Displacement 3,220 t.
    Length 229'
    Beam 40'
    Draft 19'
    Speed unknown
    Complement unknown
    Armament (1841)
    two 10" guns
    eight 8" guns
    Propulsion steam and sail

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    Size Image Description Source
    Saratoga 294k US Navy ships of the Japanese Squadron, established to promote free trade with Japan in 1852. From left to right:
    USS Susquehanna,
    USS Saratoga,
    USS St. Mary's,
    USS Supply,
    USS Plymouth,
    USS Perry,
    USS Mississippi and
    USS Princeton.
    From ~ The Archive of the Old Print Man ~ "Gleason's Pictorial Drawing Room Companion", Boston, 1852.
    Tommy Trampp
    Mississippi 235k Print of USS Mississippi under way while part of COMO Perry's Squadron during the opening of Japan and a First Day Cover honoring Mississippi admission to the Union in February 1817. Tommy Trampp
    Mississippi 33k Print of USS Mississippi under way while part of COMO Perry's Squadron during the opening of Japan, as seen through Japanese eyes.
    Courtesy naval-history.net web site
    Robert Hurst
    Colorado 134k Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, based on a sketch by an officer of USS Mississippi depicting Commodore Farragut's Squadron and Captain Porter's Mortar Fleet entering the Mississippi River at the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi, circa 7 April 1862. Features identified in the engraving's title lines include (from left to right): Light-house on Southwest Pass;
    USS Colorado (in left foreground);
    USS Pensacola on the bar;
    USS Westfield (seen nearly stern-on);
    Porter's mortar fleet, heading up the river;
    USS Mississippi on the bar;
    USS Harriet Lane (side-wheel steamer at the rear of the mortar fleet);
    USS Connecticut (in right foreground);
    USS Clifton;
    town of Banona.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 59059
    Robert Hurst
    Essex 79k "Panoramic View of the United States Fleet passing the Forts on the Mississippi, on its way to New Orleans, April 19th, 1862."
    Contemporary line engraving published in "The Soldier in our Civil War", Volume I. It depicts the Federal ships shortly before they began the passage of the forts, with the Confederate gunboats waiting upstream. Individual U.S. Navy ships (as identified in text below the engraving) are:
    USS John P. Jackson;
    USS Mississippi;
    USS Pensacola;
    USS Hartford (Flagship);
    USS Iroquois;
    USS Westfield;
    USS Cayuga; and
    USS Varuna;
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 59063
    Robert Hurst
    Kineo 158k
    "The Splendid Naval Triumph on the Mississippi, April 24th, 1862"

    Colored lithograph, published by Currier & Ives, 1862. The original print bears the following descriptive text: "Destruction of the Rebel gunboats, rams and iron clad batteries by the Union Fleet under Flag Officer Farragut. The attack was commenced on the 18th of April and continued until the 25th resulting in the capture of Forts Jackson, St. Phillip, Livingston, Pike and the city of New Orleans, as well as the destruction of all the enemy gunboats, rams, floating batteries (iron clad), fire rafts, booms and chains. The enemy with their own hands destroying cotton and shipping valued at from eight to ten millions of dollars. 'The sight of this night attack was awfully grand, the river was lit up with blazing rafts filled with pine knots and the ships seemed to be fighting literally amidst flames and smoke.'" In this view, ships are identified as (starting at top left center, up the river, running down to the right, then across toward the left): Confederate steamers; USS Cayuga (leading the Union column), USS Pensacola, burning confederate steamer, USS Varuna, USS Oneida, USS Mississippi (engaging the ram CSS Manassas), USS Richmond, USS Kineo, USS Hartford (flagship, in collision with a fire raft), USS Brooklyn and USS Winona. A Confederate fire raft is in the lower right. Fort St. Phillip is shown at right and Fort Jackson at left.
    Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.
    Tommy Trampp
    Varuna 137k 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 (not shown), USS Hartford (Farragut's flagship, with a fire raft alongside), USS Pensacola, USS Mississippi, CSS Louisiana (exploding), CSS Manassas and Federal mortar vessels.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59071
    Robert Hurst
    Mississippi 2196k Print of USS Mississippi at sea, date and location unknown.
    US Navy print.
    Darryl Baker
    Mississippi 306k Print of USS Mississippi at anchor, date and location unknown..Photo from the LSU Library Suydam Collection
    Tommy Trampp
    Mississippi 77k Print of USS Mississippi underway, date and location unknown.
    Courtesy naval-history.net web site
    Robert Hurst

    USS Mississippi (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 27 October 2017