Firefly, a 54-ton screw tug built for the U.S. Army
at Saint Louis, Missouri, in 1861-62, was transferred to the Navy
in October 1862 and renamed Dahlia. She served on the Western
Rivers through the rest of the Civil War as a tug. Dahlia
was sold in August 1865. She retained her name as a civilian ship
after the war and passed out of service in about 1872.
This page features our only views of USS Dahlia.
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 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