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Gunboat Photo Archive

Rio Bravo


  • Built in 1860 as Planter by J. W. Phillips Yard, Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia)
  • Captured by the USS Lakawana 15 June 1863 and turned over to the U.S. Quartermaster Department for use as a transport
  • Sold in 1866 and operated out of Mobile, Alabama
  • Acquired by the Navy in 1875 and commissioned USS Rio Bravo, 15 September 1875
  • Transferred to the War Department in June 1880
  • Sunk in 1880 as a breakwater near Fort Brown, Brownsville, TX.


  • Displacement 325 t.
  • Complement 44
    1875 - 53
  • Armament: Four howitzers and one 30-pounder
  • Propulsion: Steam side wheeler.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    No image of Rio Bravo is available at this time

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR Dewitt Clinton Kells, USN - Court-Martialed in 1875 and dismissed from the service15 September 1875 - 15 November 1875
    02CDR Bartlett Jefferson Cromwell, USN - USNA Class of 1861
    Retired as Rear Admiral
    15 November 1875 - October 1878
    03LCDR Charles Florence Schmitz, USNOctober 1878 - 1 July 1879
    Courtesy Bill Gonyo and Joe Radigan

    View the Rio Bravo
    DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command website
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    This page created and maintained by Joseph M. Radigan
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