USS Brilliant (1862)

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United States
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: 1862
Acquired: August 13, 1862
Commissioned: October 2, 1862
Decommissioned: circa early 1865
Struck: 1865 (est.)
Fate: sold, August 17, 1865
General characteristics
Displacement: 227 tons
Length: 154 ft 8 in (47.14 m)
Beam: 33 ft 6 in (10.21 m)
Draught: 5 ft (1.5 m)
Speed: 6 MPH
Complement: not known
  • two 12-pounder rifles
  • two 12-pounder smoothbore guns

USS Brilliant (1862) was a steamer purchased by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She was used by the Union Navy as a gunboat assigned to patrol Confederate waterways.

Brilliant, a wooden stern-wheel steamer, was built in 1862 at Brownsville, Pennsylvania, and purchased by the War Department, August 13, 1862 at St. Louis, Missouri; transferred to the Navy with the Western Flotilla October 1, 1862; and commissioned the following day. Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Charles G. Perkins in command.

Assigned to the Mississippi Squadron[edit]

After undergoing repairs Brilliant sailed from St. Louis, Missouri, September 25, 1862 to join the Mississippi Squadron at Cairo, Illinois. Throughout the Civil War she operated very actively on the Ohio, Cumberland, Tennessee, and Mississippi Rivers until August 2, 1865.

Assisting in driving off Confederate attackers of Fort Donelson[edit]

On February 3, 1863 she assisted in repelling the Confederate attack on Fort Donelson, Tennessee, and from December 3 until December 16, 1864 supported the Union Army's attack on Nashville, Tennessee.

Post war decommissioning[edit]

Brilliant was sold at public auction August 17, 1865 at Mound City, Illinois.


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

See also[edit]