Today in History:

Eastport (1862-1864)

USS Eastport, a 570-ton ironclad river gunboat and ram, was originally built at New Albany, Indiana, in 1852 as a civilian side-wheel steamer. She was being converted to an ironclad by the Confederates when Union gunboats captured her at Cerro Gordo, Tennessee in February 1862. The vessel was susequently completed by the Federals.

Eastport entered U.S. service in August 1862. Following a brief operational period in the upper rivers, she went back into the shipyard for further work, and was there in October 1862 when she was transferred to the Navy. Reentering active service in early 1863, Eastport was damaged by grounding near Vicksburg, Mississippi, in February, necessitating further repairs. Back on duty by mid-1863, she participated in the Red River expedition beginning in March of the following year. On 15 April 1864, near Grand Ecore, Louisiana, Eastport was damaged by a Confederate "torpedo". Salvage was thwarted by low water levels in the falling Red River, and capture by the enemy appeared likely, so she was destroyed on 26 April.

This page provides information on photographs of USS Eastport that should be available from other institutions.

The Naval Historical Center's collections include no pictures of USS Eastport. However, two photographs of her have been published in standard reference works on Civil War naval ships:

Starboard bow view. This photograph has been printed in "Warships of the Civil War Navies", by Paul H. Silverstone (Naval Institute Press, 1989), page 157. It is credited to The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (Ohio).

(2): Port broadside view, taken from somewhat toward the stern. This photograph has been printed in "The Old Steam Navy, Volume Two, The Ironclads, 1842-1885", by Donald L. Canney (Naval Institute Press, 1993), page 105. It is credited to the Arkansas History Commission.

For additional information on these items, the availability of reproductions and usage rights, contact the owning institutions. Both have WEB Sites that can be readily found through standard Internet search engines.

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the Online Library's digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."