CSS General Sterling Price a 633-ton side-wheel river
steamer, was built at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1856 as the commercial
towboat Laurent Millaudon. Taken over by the Confederacy
and renamed General Sterling Price, she was converted in
early 1862 to a "cottonclad" ram at New Orleans as a
unit of the River Defense Fleet. In March 1862, she was sent up
the Mississippi River to Memphis, Tennessee, for completion. During
April, May and June 1862 General Sterling Price served
in the defenses of Memphis. She rammed and disabled the U.S. ironclad
in the naval action off Fort Pillow, Tennessee, on 10 May and
received serious damage in return. After repairs General Sterling
Price took part in the battle off Memphis on 6 June, in which
she was disabled and sunk in shallow water. She was salvaged by
the U.S. forces and later became USS General
This page features our only views of CSS General Sterling
Photo #: NH 2049
"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):
General Earl Van Dorn, General Sterling Price,
General Bragg, General Sumter and Little Rebel.
The Federal ironclads, in the center and left, are (from left
to right): Mound City, Carondelet and Cincinnati.
A Federal mortar boat is by the river bank in the lower right.
Photo #: NH 58891
"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 center foreground the CSS General Beauregard is
being rammed by the Federal ram Monarch. At left are the
disabled Federal ram Queen of the West and the Confederate
ships General Sterling Price and Little Rebel.
Other Federal ships are in the center and left distance, with
other Confederate ships in the center and right middle distance.
Photo #: NH 42367
"The Total Annihilation of the Rebel Fleet by the Federal
Fleet under Commodore Davis."
"On the Morning of June 6th 1862, off Memphis, Ten."
Lithograph by Middleton, Strobridge & Co.
In the foreground, the print depicts the Confederate ships (from
left to right): General M. Jeff Thompson (shown sinking);
Little Rebel (shown burning); General Sterling Price;
General Beauregard (shown being rammed by the Ellet Ram
Monarch); General Bragg (shown aground) and Colonel
Lovell (shown sinking).
In the background are the Federal warships (from left to right):
Queen of the West; Cairo; Carondelet; Louisville;
Saint Louis; a tug; and Benton.
The city of Memphis is in the right distance, with a wharf boat
by the shore.
Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation.
Note: Our Photo # NH
55834 was long identified as representing CSS General
Sterling Price. However, it clearly does not depict that