De Soto, a 390-ton side-wheel river steamer, was built
at New Albany, Indiana, in 1860. In 1862, Confederate forces employed
her as a gunboat on the Mississippi River. She was captured by
the United States at Island Number Ten on 7 April 1862. In October
1862, after briefly serving as a U.S. Army transport, she became
This page features our only view of CSS De Soto.
Photo #: NH 59024
"View of Steamers Sunk by the Rebels Between Island Number
Ten and New Madrid"
Line engraving, based on a sketch by Alexander Simplot, published
in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting ships sunk by
the Confederates off their fortifications at Island Number 10,
circa 7 April 1862.
As identified on the engraving, the ships are (from left to right):
Champion, Yazoo, Grampus, John Simonds,
Red Rover, Prince, Admiral, Ohio Belle,
De Soto, Kanawha Valley, Winchester and
Mars. Most of these vessels, some of which were not sunk,
were later employed by the Union forces.