USS Neosho

USS Neosho

Union River Monitor

Builder: James Buchanan Eads at Union Iron Works, Carondelet, Missouri
Laid down: mid-1862
Launched: 18 February 1863
Commissioned: 13 May 1863 at Cairo, Illinois
Decommissioned: 23 July 1865 at Mound City, Illinois
Fate: Sold, 17 August 1873

General Characteristics
Area of Operation: Mississippi River
Displacement: 523 tons
Length: 180 feet (55 m)
Beam: 45 ft (14 m)
Draft: 4 feet 6 inches (1.37 m)
Propulsion: Steam engine, stern wheel-propelled
Complement: 100 Officers and crew
2 × 11 in (280 mm) Dahlgren smoothbore guns
Armor: Iron plate

USS Neosho (1863) was a river monitor constructed for the Union Navy during the middle of the American Civil War. She was outfitted with heavy 11-inch guns and used in the Union blockade of the waterways of the Confederate States of America.

Built in Missouri
The first USS Neosho, a single-turreted, wooden-hulled, river monitor protected by iron plate armor, was laid down in mid-1862 by James B. Eads at his Union Iron Works, Carondelet, Missouri; launched 18 February 1863; commissioned at Cairo, Illinois on 13 May 1863, Commander John C. Febiger in command, and completed on 1 July 1863. Neosho was named after a river flowing in Kansas and Oklahoma.

Civil War service
Neosho and her sister Osage were the first of Eads’ river warships to employ the “turtleback” design which became his hallmark and were the only monitors to be propelled by stern wheels. Their shallow draft made them extremely useful in the riverine warfare to come.

Mississippi River operations
Neosho departed Cairo on 14 July 1863, and reached Vicksburg on 6 August, just over a month after that Confederate river fortress had finally fallen to the combined land and Naval attacks. Nevertheless, much work remained for the Union Navy in order to hold the mighty Mississippi River system which it had so dearly won.

The United States Monitor Neosho engaging three Rebel batteries on the Cumberland, below Nashville, December 6, 1864Confederate cavalry raiders and flying batteries would appear at unexpected points along the Mississippi and its tributaries and attempt to sever Union lines of supply and communication. Neosho and sister river warships tirelessly patrolled the Mississippi and its tributaries clearing riverbanks and levees of Southern raiders. On 8 December 1863, a Confederate shore battery attacked and disabled merchant steamer Henry Von Phul; Neosho and Signal steamed up to defend the ship and silenced the battery.

Red River operations
From 12 March to 22 May 1864, Neosho participated in Rear Admiral David Porter’s Red River expedition which, while failing to achieve its purpose of establishing a Union power base in Texas, nevertheless, demonstrated the Navy’s great imagination, determination, and ingenuity in safely withdrawing its ships over dangerous shallows, when bereft of necessary Army support.

Post-war decommissioning
Neosho decommissioned at Mound City, Illinois, on 23 July 1865 and remained in ordinary. Renamed Vixen on 15 June 1869 and again renamed Osceola on 2 August 1869, the monitor was sold at Mound City, Illinois, to David Campbell on 17 August 1873.

2.List of Commanders/Crew

3.Painting Information

4.Books/Articles and other resources

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