USS Eastport (1862)
USS Eastport in 1863
|Laid down:||date unknown|
|Acquired:||1 October 1862|
|In service:||1 October 1862|
|Length:||280 ft (85 m)|
|Draught:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
Eastport, a partially completed ironclad, was captured from the Confederates on 7 February 1862 at Cerro Gordo, Tennessee, by the Union gunboats Conestoga, Tyler and Lexington under the command of Captain Seth Ledyard Phelps.
Converted into an ironclad ram for use by the Union Army
Converted at Cairo, Illinois, into an ironclad ram for use by the Union Army, she sailed from that port late in August under the command of Captain Phelps for duty in the Mississippi River between Island No. 10 and the mouth of the White River, Arkansas. She was back at Cairo, Illinois, for repairs when, on 1 October 1862, Eastport and the other vessels of the Western Flotilla were turned over to the Navy and joined the Mississippi Squadron.
Eastport sailed from Cairo to join her squadron near Vicksburg, Mississippi, but struck bottom on 2 February 1863 and returned to Cairo for repairs. She stood down the river on 19 June for Helena, Arkansas, and served the rest of her career in the Mississippi River and its tributaries as a convoy and patrol vessel, helping capture over 14,000 bales of cotton. On 5 March 1864, she dropped down to the mouth of the Red River for the joint Army-Navy expedition.
Eastport strikes a mine
She passed through the obstructions below Fort De Russy, in whose capture she joined, then continued up the Red River above Grand Ecore until 5 April, when she rounded to and stood down again. On 15 April 1864, she suffered a torpedo (mine) explosion. Despite every effort to bring her out, she had to be destroyed on the 26th to prevent her falling into Confederate hands. Captain Seth L. Phelps placed 3,000 pounds of gunpowder in her hold and blew the vessel into fragments.
- Blockade runners of the American Civil War
- List of ships of the Confederate States Navy
- Ships captured in the American Civil War
- Bibliography of American Civil War naval history
- Eicher, 2001, The longest Night, p. 650