Gunboats in St. Louis, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 37.743 W 090° 11.995
15S E 743746 N 4279333
Display inside the Soldiers Memorial Museum.
Waymark Code: WM17HQG
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 02/24/2023
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Geo Ferret
Views: 0

County of display: St. Louis Independent City
Location of display: Chestnut St., Soldiers Memorial Museum, E section, St. Louis
Display a gift of Gertrude & William Bernoudy & Missouri Historical Society

Marker Text:

Seven iron clad gunboats designed by St. Louisan James Eads played a decisive role in securing major rivers in the Western Theater of the Civil War.
These vessels, which were built in just five months in Eads's St. Louis shipyards, had flat-bottomed hulls, paddle-wheeled propulsion, and armor plating. By providing artillery support to land battles at Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, and Island NO. 10 in the Mississippi River, Eads's gunboats helped Union forces seize Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi.

Photo Captions:
(1) image above: USS St. Louis, 1862-1863.
(2) Image right: Bombardment and capture of Island NO. 10 on the Mississippi River, April 7, 1862.
(3) Please touch this model of the USS St. Louis (C-20).

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:
"It having been stated at the Russian Banquet, on Monday night, that the Western iron-clad St. Louis was the first to fight a naval engagement, we give the following complete record of the career of said vessel, and some of her compeers, which may be relied on as correct:

"The iron-clad gunboat St. Louis was built by Mr. EADS, at Carondelet, a few miles below St. Louis, in the Fall of 1861. She was the first iron-clad ever built in America, and the first one to encounter a hostile naval force, we believe, anywhere in the world. She was the first armored vessel that ever received the fire of an enemy's battery on this continent.

"The St. Louis was one of eight iron-clad gunboats, all completed in three or four months by Mr. EADS, and delivered to Admiral FOOTE before Christmas of 1861. The whole fleet mounted 107 guns all of heavy calibre. Seven of the vessels were alike in every particular, and were 175 feet long and 51 1/2 feet wide, drawing six feet of water. The eighth vessel was the Benton, mounting 16 guns and was 187 feet long by 75 wide. The St. Louis was launched on the 12th of October, 1861, with engines and boilers on board, just 42 days after her keel was laid.

"She was commissioned on the 14th of December, 1861, and a few days after attacked HOLLINS' fleet, consisting of Lady Polk, the Livingston and Ponchartrain, in Lucas' Bend, a few miles below Cairo.

"The Polk was disabled and the entire fleet quickly sought shelter under the batteries of Columbus. They were pursued by the St. Louis until she received the fire of the fort, when she withdrew. This was nearly three months before the memorable engagement of the Monitor and Merrimac." ~ New York Tomes

Additional point: Not Listed

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