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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

CSS Arkansas


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Arkansas Class Iron-clad Ram:
  • Laid down at Memphis, TN., in 1861 by J. T. Shirley
  • Completed on the Yazoo River after fall of Memphis in May 1862.
  • CSS Arkansas was discovered on the Yazoo by USS Carondelet and USS Queen of the West, 15 July 1862, Arkansas inflicted heavy casualties in Carondelet. Arkansas entered the Mississippi, running through the Union fleet to take refuge under the Vicksburg batteries, but she was heavily damaged and sustained many casualties, in the battle Arkansas substantially damaged USS Winona and USS Sumter
  • USS Essex and Queen of the West ran down past Vicksburg, 22 July 1862, unsuccessfully attacking CSS Arkansas
  • Again engaged by Essex about 5 miles above Baton Rouge, LA., 6 August 1862, Arkansas plagued by engine trouble, she was unable to fight or flee and drifted ashore
  • Final Disposition, there she was abandoned and fired to prevent capture
    Specifications:
    Displacement unknown
    Length 165'
    Beam 35'
    Draft 11' 6"
    Speed 8 kts
    Complement 200
    Armament
    two 9" smoothbore cannon
    two 9" 64-pdrs
    two 9" shell guns
    two 6" rifled cannon
    two 32-pdr smoothbore cannon
    Propulsion
    two low pressure 900hp steam engines
    twin screws

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    Size Image Description Contributed
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    Arkansas 153k Line engraving after a drawing by J.O. Davidson, published in "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War", Volume III, page 573, depicting CSS Arkansas fitting out off Yazoo City, Mississippi, in June-July 1862. Assisting in the work is the CSS Capitol.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 73376
    Robert Hurst
    Arkansas 51k Sepia wash drawing of CSS Arkansas by R.G. Skerrett, 1 January 1904.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 61912-KN (Color). Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC.
    Robert Hurst
    Arkansas 184k CSS Arkansas running through the Union fleet above Vicksburg, Mississippi, 15 July 1862. Line engraving after a drawing by J.O. Davidson, published in "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War", Volume III, page 556.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 73358
    Robert Hurst
    Arkansas 76k Painting by Tom Freeman of CSS Arkansas shaves the line between USS Carondelet and USS Tyler as she exits the Yazoo River, 15 July 1862. Photo courtesy Foro Militar General. Tommy Trampp
    Arkansas 308k "The Arkansas ran the Gauntlet of the Whole Fleet"
    CSS Arkansas ran the "Gauntlet of the Whole Fleet" artwork published in Deeds of Valor, Volume II, page 31, by the Perrien-Keydel Company, Detroit, 1907. It depicts Arkansas during her passage through the Federal fleet above Vicksburg, Mississippi, 15 July 1862.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 79911
    USNH&HC
    Arkansas 186k "The Rebel Ram 'Arkansas' Running Through the Union Fleet off Vicksburg"
    Line engraving published in Harper's Weekly, 1862, depicting the passage of CSS Arkansas through the Federal fleet above Vicksburg, Mississippi, 15 July 1862.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 58892
    USNH&HC
    Arkansas 447k On 15 July 1862 CSS Arkansas exited the Yazoo River and steamed past two Union squadrons to reach Vicksburg. One of her officers, Acting Master Samuel Milliken, drew this sketch of the ship, which unlike other operational Rebel ironclads featured perpendicular, not inclined casemate sides. Tommy Trampp
    Arkansas 87k CSS Arkansas as it appeared to readers of the New York Tribune, 31 July 31, 1862. Author unknown.
    Robert Hurst
    Arkansas 436k Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862 depicting the Union gunboat USS Essex, destroying the Rebel Iron-clad Ram CSS Arkansas, on the Mississippi River. Arkansas had been run ashore and burned to prevent capture when her engines failed during this encounter with Essex, 6 August 1862.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59042
    Robert Hurst

    CSS Arkansas
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 9 September 2016