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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Little Rebel
ex
CSS Little Rebel (1962)


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Screw Gunboat:
  • Built in 1859 as the wooden screw steamer R. E. & A. H. Watson, at Belle Verne, PA.
  • Assigned to the Confederate Mississippi Defense Fleet as Commodore Montgomery's flagship
  • CSS Little Rebel was forced aground at the Battle of Memphis 6 June 1862 by USS Monarch
  • Union forces captured the abandoned Little Rebel and sent her to Cairo where she was purchased by the U.S. Navy from the Illinois Prize Court, 9 January 1863
  • Fitted out at Cairo in 1863, for service in Colonel Ellet's Ram Fleet, Acting Master William R. Sanford in command
  • Assigned to patrol the the western rivers discouraging guerrilla activity
  • Little Rebel was assigned to patrolling from Red River to Fort Adams in March 1863
  • Assigned to the Mississippi in April, she patrolled this area for the remainder of the war
  • In May 1865, she and seven other Union ships guarded to prevent the escape of Jefferson Davis
  • Decommissioned at Mound City 24 July 1865
  • Sold to Daniel Jacobs 29 November 1865, redocumented as Spy 4 March 1867, the steamer remained in merchant service until 1874
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Specifications:
    Displacement 161 t.
    Length unknown
    Beam unknown
    Depth of Hold unknown
    Draft 12'
    Speed unknown
    Complement unknown
    Armament three 12-pdr guns
    Propulsion steam

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    Size Image Description Source
    General Earn Van Dorn 373k "Battle of Fort Pillow, First position" Engraving published in Rear Admiral Henry Walke's Naval Scenes and Reminiscences of the Civil War in the United States ... (1877), depicting the action between the Confederate River Defense Fleet and Federal ironclads near Fort Pillow, Tennessee, 10 May 1862. Confederate ships, seen at right, include (from left to right):
    CSS General Earl Van Dorn,
    CSS General Sterling Price,
    CSS General Bragg,
    CSS General Sumter and
    CSS Little Rebel. The Federal ironclads, in the center and left, are (from left to right):
    USS Mound City,
    USS Carondelet and
    USS Cincinnati. A Federal mortar boat is by the river bank in the lower right.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 2049
    Tommy Trampp
    General Van Dorn 255k "Battle of Fort Pillow, 3rd Position" Engraving published in Rear Admiral Henry Walke's Naval Scenes and Reminiscences of the Civil War in the United States ... (1877), depicting the action between the Confederate River Defense Fleet and Federal ironclads near Fort Pillow, Tennessee, 10 May 1862. Confederate ships, seen at left, include:
    CSS Colonel Lovell,
    CSS General Beauregard,
    CSS General M. Jeff Thompson,
    CSS General Bragg,
    CSS General Sumter,
    CSS Little Rebel and
    CSS General Earl van Dorn. The Federal ironclads, in the center and right, are:
    USS Carondelet,
    USS Cincinnati,
    USS Mound City,
    USS Benton,
    USS Saint Louis,
    USS Cairo and
    USS Pittsburg. A tug is seen in the right foreground.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 42755
    Tommy Trampp
    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

    CSS / USS Little Rebel
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 2 September 2016