USS Neosho, first of a class of two 523-ton single-turret
ironclad river monitors built at Carondelet, Missouri, was commissioned
in May 1863. She operated on the Mississippi River and its tributaries
through the rest of the Civil War, and was one of several ironclads
that took part in the Red River campaign in March-May 1864. She
also engaged Confederate shore batteries near Simmsport, Louisiana,
in June 1864 and on the Cumberland River, in Tennessee, in December
of that year. Neosho was decommissioned in July 1865 and
laid up at Mound City, Illinois. In 1869, she was twice renamed,
becoming Vixen in June and Osceola in August. She
was sold in August 1873.
This page features our only views of USS Neosho.
Photo #: NH 60617
USS Neosho (1863-1873)
Watercolor by Dr. Oscar Parkes.
Courtesy of Dr. Oscar Parkes, London, England, 1936.
Photo #: NH 51799
Red River Campaign, 1864
Rear Admiral Porter's fleet above the falls at Alexandria, Louisiana,
awaiting the rise of the river, circa May 1864.
Ships moored along the far river bank include (from left to right):
ironclad Mound City, two "City" class ironclads
(either Carondelet, Louisville or Pittsburg),
transport William H. Brown, steamer Benefit, tug
Dahlia and ironclad Neosho (in the distance, barely
Photo #: NH 55972
USS Dahlia (1862-1865) (left)
Moored to the river bank above the falls at Alexandria, Louisiana,
during the Red River campaign, circa May 1864.
USS Neosho (1863-1873) is at right.
Courtesy of Frederick Way, Jr., 1941.
Photo #: NH 91999-A-KN (Color)
Red River Expedition, March-May 1864
Watercolor by James Alden, depicting the monitors USS Neosho
and Osage running through a break in the Red River dam
to pass safely over the rapids, 9 May 1864.
This passage took advantage of an accidental break in the dam,
which was being built by Army engineers to raise the river level
enough to permit passage of all the vessels trapped above. Four
gunboats passed through at this time: Lexington (which
went first), Neosho (second), Fort Hindman and
Collection of Cdr. George M. Bache, USN.
Photo #: NH 58894
"The United States Monitor 'Neosho' Engaging Three Rebel
Batteries on the Cumberland, Below Nashville, Dec. 6, 1864"
Line engraving, after a sketch by Adam Rohe, published in "Harper's
Weekly", 31 December 1864, depicting the action near Bell's