Library Of Congress
Library Of CongressPublic Domain ArchivePart of PICRYL.com. Not developed or endorsed by the Library of Congress
  • searchSearch
  • photo_albumStories
  • collectionsCollections
  • infoAbout
  • star_rateUpgrade

Steamships of The Civil War Time

In the early years of the war many civilian ships were confiscated for military use, while both sides built new ships. The most popular ships were tinclads—mobile, small ships that actually contained no tin. These ships were former merchant ships, generally about 150 feet in length, with about two to six feet of draft, and about 200 tons. Shipbuilders would remove the deck and add an armored pilothouse as well as sheets of iron around the forward part of the casemate and the engines. Most of the tinclads had six guns: two or three twelve-pounder or twenty-four-pounder howitzers on each broadside, with two heavier guns, often thirty-two-pounder smoothbores or thirty-pounder rifles, in the bow. These ships proved faster than ironclads and, with such a shallow draft, worked well on the tributaries of the Mississippi.
Gunboat "Mendota", Deep Bottom, James River, Va.
1836
1836
slider-holder
1879
slider-holder
1879
553 Media in collectionpage 1 of 6
Stony Point, near Gibraltar, on the Hudson River, U.S. July 24th 1846

Stony Point, near Gibraltar, on the Hudson River, U.S. July 24th 1846

Drawing shows a steamship on the Hudson River, with a view of the lighthouse at Stony Point, New York. Purchase; William Reese Company; 2000; (DLC/PP-2000:086). Title from item. Accession box no. DLC/PP-2000:086

Reindeer polka

Reindeer polka

Artist: G.E. Lewis (signature on image). Currier & Ives : a catalogue raisonné / compiled by Gale Research. Detroit, MI : Gale Research, c1983, no. 5537

Design and model of the new steamer America, for the western lakes

Design and model of the new steamer America, for the western lakes

Print showing port side view of the steamer America. Title from item. Caption continues: To be built and run between Buffalo and Cleveland. Invented, designed and drawn by Darius Davison, New York. Copyright 18... more

[Paddle wheel mechanism of side-wheel steamer]

[Paddle wheel mechanism of side-wheel steamer]

Drawing is third panel on the "Machinery Scroll", depicting Perry's expedition to Japan in 1853. Watercolor drawing by contemporary Japanese artist. Title devised by Library staff.

[U.S.S. Susquehanna, Commodore Perry's flag ship, full starboard view]

[U.S.S. Susquehanna, Commodore Perry's flag ship, full starboard view]

Drawing is on the "Susquehanna & Mississippil Scroll", depicting Perry's expedition to Japan. Watercolor drawing Taguchi Shumpei. Title devised by Library staff.

River boat on the Potomac

River boat on the Potomac

Sketch shows a sidewheel steamboat on the Potomac River. Wallis was a British Commissioner from the Foreign Office to the United States in 1853. Originally 1 of 37 drawings in portfolios with binder's title: Sk... more

[Port views of the U.S.S. Susquehanna and the U.S.S. Mississippi understeam]

[Port views of the U.S.S. Susquehanna and the U.S.S. Mississippi under...

Drawings are panels one and two of the "Machinery scroll' depicting Perry's expedition to Japan, 1853. Watercolor by a contemporary Japanese artist. Title devised by Library staff.

Map of the Philadelphia & Baltimore Rail Road as located by W. Strickland & B. H. Latrobe, Esqrs., civ. engineers. Showing also the present route by steamboat & the N. Castle R. Road, & that proposed to be constructed by way of Oxford & Port-Deposit.

Map of the Philadelphia & Baltimore Rail Road as located by W. Strickl...

Map of an area between Philadelphia and Baltimore showing drainage, cities and towns, post roads, and boundaries. Chartered in Maryland in May, 1852. [From published bibliography]. Oriented with north toward th... more

View of the U.S. Mail Steamship Company's premises, Aspinwall, N.G.

View of the U.S. Mail Steamship Company's premises, Aspinwall, N.G.

Colon, Panama Canal Zone. Busy dock activity - railroad mail cars and mail steamships. Copyrighted by F.N. Otis. Photoprint of lithograph by C. Parsons. Sketch by F.N. Otis. This record contains unverified data... more

Scene on the Delaware River at Philada. during the severe winter of 1856 / from nature and on stone by J. Queen.

Scene on the Delaware River at Philada. during the severe winter of 18...

Print shows many people from Philadelphia ice skating on the Delaware River, possibly near the Philadelphia Navy Yard, "during the severe winter of 1856."

Battle of Bad Axe = Schlacht von Bad Axe / H. Lewis pinx ; Lith. Inst. Arnz & Co., Dusseldorf.

Battle of Bad Axe = Schlacht von Bad Axe / H. Lewis pinx ; Lith. Inst....

Illustration shows an American steamship, the Warrior, firing at Indians on a raft. In the background, other Indians in boats.

From Grays Ferry looking south / Jas. Queen.

From Grays Ferry looking south / Jas. Queen.

Drawing shows two steamboats at dock and four riverboats or barges on the Schuylkill River, with marsh in the foreground. Title from item. Signed "Jas. Queen" on lower right. (DLC/PP-1997:105) Forms part of: Ma... more

Transatlantic sketches--the Mississippi River

Transatlantic sketches--the Mississippi River

Wood engravings showing three views of the Mississippi River, captioned: 1. Down the lower Mississippi--from the Baton Rouge; 2. Voyageurs ascending the lower Mississippi; 3. Woodchopper's hut, lower Mississippi.

View of the famous levee of New Orleans, the capital of Louisiana, which commencing 43 miles below passes through the [c]ity forming its chief business depot, and extends 143 miles above, on the banks of the Mississippi / photographed by E.H. Nelson, Jun., N.O.

View of the famous levee of New Orleans, the capital of Louisiana, whi...

Levee with bales of cotton, African-American workers and steamboats.

Scene on the upper Mississippi (Am Ober-Mississippi)

Scene on the upper Mississippi (Am Ober-Mississippi)

Two steamboats and raft in foreground.

Chesapeake & Patapsco

Chesapeake & Patapsco

Four scenes of rivers, lighthouses, ships and boats.

U.S. Gun Boat "Fanny"

U.S. Gun Boat "Fanny"

Broadside view of steamship.

View of St. Louis, Mo. [Levee]

View of St. Louis, Mo. [Levee]

Purchase; Christie's, South Kensington; 1981; (DLC/PP-1981:260).

U.S. Gun Boat "Seminole"

U.S. Gun Boat "Seminole"

Broadside view of steamship. Title inscribed below image. Inscribed below title: The "Wabash" is like the "Minnesota" of which you have a drawing. Formerly Waud no. C-44. Gift, J.P. Morgan, 1919 (DLC/PP-1919:R1... more

Captured steamer used as a picket boat St. Johns River

Captured steamer used as a picket boat St. Johns River

Broadside view. Title inscribed below image. Inscribed upper right: 74. Gift, J.P. Morgan, 1919 (DLC/PP-1919:R1.2.341) Forms part of: Morgan collection of Civil War drawings.

U.S. Gun Boat "Daylight"

U.S. Gun Boat "Daylight"

Broadside view of steamship.

U.S. gunboat Black Hawk

U.S. gunboat Black Hawk

No. 3141. Title from item. Mounted with five other photographs with general caption: Mississippi River Fleet. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

U.S. gunboat Milwaukee

U.S. gunboat Milwaukee

No. 3139. Title from item. Mounted with five other photographs with general caption: Mississippi River Fleet. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

Officers on deck of the monitor Saugus, James River, Va.

Officers on deck of the monitor Saugus, James River, Va.

No. B759. Title from item. Hand written on verso: "Miller, vol. VI, p. 143". Negative at National Archives, B5044. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

Officers and crew on deck of gunboat Agawam, James River, Va.

Officers and crew on deck of gunboat Agawam, James River, Va.

No. B261. Title from item. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

On deck of U.S. gunboat Hunchback

On deck of U.S. gunboat Hunchback

No. B708. Title from item. Mounted with five other photographs. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

A gun crew on deck of U.S.S. Mendota, James River, Va.

A gun crew on deck of U.S.S. Mendota, James River, Va.

Title from item. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

(Sailors on deck of warship)

(Sailors on deck of warship)

Title from item. Part of Brady-Handy Collection. Cited in Miller, vol. 6, p. 278-279, as the gunboat Mendota.

Officers on deck of monitor Saugus, James River, Virginia

Officers on deck of monitor Saugus, James River, Virginia

No. B889. Title from item. Mounted with four other photographs. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

Crew on deck of monitor Lehigh, James River, Va.

Crew on deck of monitor Lehigh, James River, Va.

No. B80. Title from item. Hand written on verso: "Miller, vol. VI, p. 179". Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

Views at Fort Darling, Drewry's Bluff, James River, Va.

Views at Fort Darling, Drewry's Bluff, James River, Va.

No. 4242. Title from item. Mounted with 5 other photographs showing different views of the same location. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

Scenes in the Brooklyn Navy-Yard: Gunboat on the Stocks

Scenes in the Brooklyn Navy-Yard: Gunboat on the Stocks

Men building gunboat. Illus. in: Harper's Weekly, 1861 Aug. 24, p. 534. Reference copy may be in LOT 4397-I (oversize). This record contains unverified, old data from caption card. Caption card tracings: NYC, N... more

Arrival of the Twenty-Second Indiana Volunteers, Colonel J.C. Davis, at St. Louis, Missouri / sketched by James Guire.

Arrival of the Twenty-Second Indiana Volunteers, Colonel J.C. Davis, a...

Soldiers getting off steamboat. Illus. in: Harper's weekly, v. 5, no. 246 (1861 Sept. 14), p. 582.

The Gun-boat New Era, just built at St. Louis, Missouri / sketched by a correspondent.

The Gun-boat New Era, just built at St. Louis, Missouri / sketched by ...

Illus. in: Harper's weekly, 1861 Oct. 12, p. 646.

[Ship deck with sailors and cannons]

[Ship deck with sailors and cannons]

Photograph possibly by George H. Houghton, photographer of other photographs in this album and fellow resident of Mead's in Brattleboro, Vermont. Houghton worked as a photographer at Camp Griffin and in the Tid... more

U.S. gunboat Benton

U.S. gunboat Benton

No. 3148. Title from item. Mounted with five other photographs with general caption: Mississippi RIver Fleet. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

U.S. gunboat Pittsburg - Mississippi River Fleet

U.S. gunboat Pittsburg - Mississippi River Fleet

No. 3136. Title from item. Hand written on verso: "Miller, vol. VI, p. 148". Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

On deck of U.S.S. New Hampshire off Charleston, S.C.

On deck of U.S.S. New Hampshire off Charleston, S.C.

No. 4954. Title from item. Mounted with four other photographs and one print. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

U.S. gunboat Lafayette, Mississippi River Fleet

U.S. gunboat Lafayette, Mississippi River Fleet

No. 4584. Title from item. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

Crew on deck of monitor Saugus, James River, Va.

Crew on deck of monitor Saugus, James River, Va.

No. B343. Title from item. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

On deck of the monitor Lehigh, James River, Va.

On deck of the monitor Lehigh, James River, Va.

No. B768. Title from item. Mounted with five other photographs. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

Wreck of U.S. gunboat Indianola - Mississippi River Fleet

Wreck of U.S. gunboat Indianola - Mississippi River Fleet

No. 3117. Title from item. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

On deck of U.S. gunboat Hunchback

On deck of U.S. gunboat Hunchback

No. B675. Title from item. Mounted with five other photographs. Hand written on verso: "See Miller, vol. 6, p. 315". Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

U.S. gunboat Essex - Mississippi River Fleet

U.S. gunboat Essex - Mississippi River Fleet

No. 3134. Title from item. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

U.S. gunboat Ozark - Mississippi River Fleet

U.S. gunboat Ozark - Mississippi River Fleet

No. 3124. Title from item. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

Steamboat dock, Morris Island, S.C.

Steamboat dock, Morris Island, S.C.

No. 4295. No. 3531 etched on negative, lower left corner. Title from item. Mounted with four other photographs. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

U.S. gunboat Peosta - Mississippi River Fleet

U.S. gunboat Peosta - Mississippi River Fleet

No. 3133. Title from item. Cited in: The South Besieged: The Image of War, vol. 5, p. 49. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

[Sling for heavy artillery. Drewry's Bluff, Virginia]

[Sling for heavy artillery. Drewry's Bluff, Virginia]

Title devised by Library staff. Forms part of: Civil War Photograph Collection (Library of Congress). Original negative may be available: LC-B811-1152.

U.S. gunboat Agawam and the monitor Saugus, James River, Va.

U.S. gunboat Agawam and the monitor Saugus, James River, Va.

No. B81. Title from item. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

U.S. gunboat Lafayette

U.S. gunboat Lafayette

No. 3143. Title from item. Mounted with one other photograph. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

U.S. gunboat Mendota, James River, Va.

U.S. gunboat Mendota, James River, Va.

No. B239. Title from item. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

On deck of U.S. Frigate Hartford

On deck of U.S. Frigate Hartford

No. 3152. Title from item. Mounted with four other photographs and one print. Hand written on verso: "Miller, vol. VI, p. 187 (bottom)". Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

Fort Darling, Drewry's Bluff, James River, Va.

Fort Darling, Drewry's Bluff, James River, Va.

No. B517. Title from item. Hand written on verso: Miller, vol. 1, pp. 110-111. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

Fort Darling, Drewry's Bluff, James River, Va.

Fort Darling, Drewry's Bluff, James River, Va.

No. 4094. Title from item. Hand written on verso: Miller I, 276. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

The United States gun-boat "Wyandotte" firing a salute on Washington's Birthday in Pensacola Harbor / drawn by an officer of Lieut. Slemmer's command.

The United States gun-boat "Wyandotte" firing a salute on Washington's...

Shown are the gun-boat "Wyandotte," and in the background left to right Fort Barrancas, Barrancas barracks, and United States Marine Hospital.

U.S. hospital boat Red Rover - Mississippi River Fleet

U.S. hospital boat Red Rover - Mississippi River Fleet

No. 3125. Title from item. Caption continues: Mississippi River fleet. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

U.S. gunboat Kickopee

U.S. gunboat Kickopee

No. 3138. Title from item. Mounted with five other photographs with general caption: Mississippi River Fleet. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

U.S. gunboat Tyler - Mississippi River Fleet

U.S. gunboat Tyler - Mississippi River Fleet

Photograph shows a Union timberclad, the U.S.S. Tyler. No. 3127. Title from item. Hand written on verso: "Miller, vol. I, p. 189". Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

U.S. gunboat Lexington [i.e. Tyler] - Mississippi River Fleet

U.S. gunboat Lexington [i.e. Tyler] - Mississippi River Fleet

Photograph shows a Union timberclad, the U.S.S. Tyler. No. 3122. Title from item. Cited in Miller, vol. I, p. 203, as the U.S.S. Tyler. "U.S. Army Military History Institute also identifies it as (U.S.S) Tyler"... more

U.S. gunboat Vindicator

U.S. gunboat Vindicator

No. 3144. Title from item. Mounted with five other photographs with general caption: Mississippi River Fleet. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

U.S. gunboat Cricket

U.S. gunboat Cricket

No. 3142. Title from item. Mounted with five other photographs with general caption: Mississippi River Fleet. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

Confederate obstructions in James River at Drewry's Bluff

Confederate obstructions in James River at Drewry's Bluff

No. B470. Title from item. Similar to LC-B811-2475. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

U.S. gunboat Benton

U.S. gunboat Benton

No. 3137. Title from item. Mounted with five other photographs with general caption: Mississippi River Fleet. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

U.S. gunboat Choctaw - Mississippi River Fleet

U.S. gunboat Choctaw - Mississippi River Fleet

No. 3116. Title from item. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

(Deck of warship)

(Deck of warship)

Title from item. Part of Brady-Handy Collection.

U.S. gunboat Milwaukee - Mississippi River Fleet

U.S. gunboat Milwaukee - Mississippi River Fleet

No. 3131. Title from item. Caption continue: Mississippi River fleet. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

Fort Darling, Drewry's Bluff, James River, Va.

Fort Darling, Drewry's Bluff, James River, Va.

No. B596. Title from item. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

Confederate iron-clad Stonewall

Confederate iron-clad Stonewall

No. 912. Civil War Photograph Collection (Library of Congress). Original negative: LC-B817-7912-B

U.S. gunboat Meteor [i.e. Cricket]

U.S. gunboat Meteor [i.e. Cricket]

No. 3145. Title from item. Correction to title made on card mount comparing images of the two gunboats. Mounted with five other photographs with general caption: Mississippi River Fleet. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

Admiral Farragut and Captain Drayton on deck of U.S. frigate Hartford

Admiral Farragut and Captain Drayton on deck of U.S. frigate Hartford

No. 3168. Title from item. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

Admiral Farragut and Captain Drayton on deck of U.S. frigate Hartford

Admiral Farragut and Captain Drayton on deck of U.S. frigate Hartford

No. 3169. Title from item. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

Gunboat "Mendota", Deep Bottom, James River, Va.

Gunboat "Mendota", Deep Bottom, James River, Va.

No. B241. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

Officers on deck of monitor Saugus, James River, Virginia

Officers on deck of monitor Saugus, James River, Virginia

No. B655. Title from item. Mounted with four other photographs. For information on the identification of the photographer see article: "Richmond Again Taken: Reappraising the Brady Legend through Photographs by... more

Deck of one of Porter's mortar schooners

Deck of one of Porter's mortar schooners

Title from item. Hand written on verso: "Miller, vol. VI, p. 197". Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.

On deck of U.S. gunboat Hunchback

On deck of U.S. gunboat Hunchback

No. B699. Title from item. Mounted with five other photographs. Gift; Col. Godwin Ordway; 1948.