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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Silver Cloud (I)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Wooden Stern-wheel Steamer (Tinclad #28):
  • Built in 1862 at Brownsville, PA.
  • Taken over by the Navy, 1 April 1863
  • Commissioned, USS Silver Cloud at Cairo, IL., 4 May 1863, Acting Master Augustus F. Thompson in command
  • Purchased by the Navy, 19 May 1863
  • During the Civil War USS Silver Cloud was assigned to the Mississippi Squadron where she patrolled the Tennessee River
  • Decommissioned, 13 July 1865, at Mound City, IL.
  • Sold at public auction, 17 August 1865
  • Converted from a stern wheeler to a side wheeler and redocumented, 7 October 1865
  • Final Disposition, snagged and lost, 27 February 1866 in Buffalo Bayou, TX.
    Displacement 236 t.
    Length 155' 1"
    Beam 32' 2"
    Depth 5' 2"
    Draft 6'
    Speed 7 mph (upstream)
    Complement unknown
    six 24-pdr howitzers
    Propulsion steam

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Argosy 120k USS Silver Cloud photographed while tied up along the Western Rivers during the Civil War.
    US Navy History and Heritage Command photo # NH 60330.
    Aryeh Wetherhorn
    Argosy 8k Robert Siderfin Critchel entered naval service at Cairo, Illinois on 3 Sept 1863. Two weeks prior to interview he obtained letters from Congressman Henry T. Blow and a couple of businessmen to see Admiral Porter, then in command of the Mississippi Squadron. In his absence he was interviewed by Captain Peacock and was asked what position in the navy he desired to be appointed. Being “green as a gooseberry” in the ways of the navy replied “the lowest commissioned officer in the navy”. He was given the rank of Acting Master’s Mate, issued a temporary uniform and assigned to the receiving ship Clara Dolsen for his indoctrination period. Once this was completed he was assigned to the gunboat USS Silver Cloud. He served aboard her for the duration of the war and was discharged from the Navy on 4 September 1865. He wrote a booked titled the “Recollections of a Fire Insurance Man” which is available as an e-book for a more detailed reading of his Navy experience. Bill Gonyo

    USS Silver Cloud (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 10 May 2013