Mound City


Mound City
An Illinols town on the Ohio River.
(ScStGbt: t. 512; 1. 176'; b. 50'; cgl. 176; a. 2 80-pars.5 32-pdrs., 3 9", 1 30-pdr., 1 12-pdr.; cl. Cairo)

Ironclad screw steamer Mound City, built at St. Louis, Mo., 7 August 1861 by Jame,s B. Elads, Joined the War Department's flotilla on the western rivers in 1862, Comdr. A. H. Rilty in command.

Departing Cairo in March, Uound City operated on Island No. 10, the key to the Mississippi, and New Madrid Pope's army took New Madrid on the 13th, thus removing the strong Confederate network of communications and eliminating a mayor obstacle to Union control ot the upper Mississippi. After the surrender ot Island No. 10 on 7 April, Mound City seized Confederate ship Red Rover, damaged by mortar fire. Sent to Cairo, Red Rover was subsequently converted to the Navy's first hospital ship.

Union capture of Fort Pillow 1 April did not entirely eliminate the Confederate resistance; eight Confederate gunboats made a spirited attack on Union gunboats and mortars at Plum Point Bend 10 May. Colonel Lovell rammed Mound City, forcing her ashore to avoid sinkin& Meanwhile, Union ships bombarded Fort Pillow daily reducing Confederate will to flght. Speeding to aid rammed and sinking Cincinnati off Ship Island, Mound Citv was rammed by General Va~ Doren, completely wrenching off Mound City', bow. Her bow replaced at Mound City, the steamer ran up White River in June, engaging Contederate batteries at St. Charles, Ark.; the complete Union victory at St. Oharles gave the Union control of White River, but was costly to Mound City as one shot completely disabled her. In danger of sinking, she was towed from beneath the batteries by Conestoga.

The Union forces met strong southern opposition throughout the summer and abandoned Vicksburg 6 August when Mound City formed part of the White River expedition, escorting transport White Cloud. Union forces regrouped at Helena, from which Mound City departed I6 August with 3 other Union ships and two regiments 2d Brigade, 3d Division, Army of the Southwest on theYazoo River expedition. The Army-Navy expedition captured steamer Fairplav 20 miles above Vicksburg, where the ships were unable to proceed due to shallow water.

Meanwhile, McClernand was formulating his plans tor the assault on Vicksburg. From October 1862 through March 1863, Mound City was with Pittsburg, Carondelet, and Louierille as part of the Grand Gulf venture. Passing the upper batteries of Grand Gulf 12 October, the ships completely silenced the lower tort. Mound City, Carond elet Signal, and Maranora steamed to the mouth of Yazoo River 25 November to prevent southern blockade of it, remaining here on guard duty through March.

Mound Citp formed part of the Yazoo Pass Expedition via Steele's Bayou 14 March as Union ships attempted to strike the rear defenses of Vicksburg. Returning to more direct action against Vicksburg, If oand City's bold pa~sage of the batteries 14 April dampened the enthusiasm ot. Conf~ederate sympathizers along the shore, contributing to early Union seizure of Grand Gul! and the eventual fatl of Vicksburg. On the 27th, Mound City joined 7 other Union gunboats in attacks on Grand Gult.

After attacking Warrenton, Miss., 10 May and destroying a battery, she guarded the river from Gand Gul! depot to Hard Times. She returued to Vicksburg 18 June tor a 3-day expedition to Cole's Creek, destroying six or seven smell boats. After shelling the batteries at Vicksburg 3 July, she steamed to Lake Providence, Gal, 7 August when she fired on and dispersed Contederate cavalry, there.after guarding this part of the river.

Off Davis plantation in January 1864, she endeavored to raise Indianola, sunk in Red River in 1862. Seizing tug Rawlins off Natchez 2 March, Mound Cily Joined 17 other ships and Sherman's troops in the Red River Expedition 16 March through 22 May In an effort to enter Texas via Alexandria, La., to counter the threat 2'rom Maximilian. Shallow water proved an obstacle as Mound City and Carondelet grounded near the wing dams across Red River 10 May. Hauled across the upper 2'alls above the obstructions by throngs o2' straining soldiers, the ships were able to get free.Mound City spent the remainder of the year guarding Indianola.

She joined the expedition to Black River in May 1865, turning back from Baldwin's Ferry on learning of an imminent attack. After the end of the conflict, she returned to Mound City for dismantling but was sold there at public auction to Frank Bennet 9 November 1865.