USS Sallie Wood (1860)

USS Sallie Wood (1860)

USS "Sallie Wood" (1860) was a 256-ton steamer captured by the Union Navy during the early years of the American Civil War.

She assigned by the Union Navy during the blockade of ports and waterways of the Confederate States of America to a number of duties: as a tugboat, a dispatch boat, a troopship, and as an ammunition ship, mostly on the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

Captured by Union forces in 1862

"Sallie Wood" was a wooden steamer built in 1860 at Paducah, Kentucky. Early in the Civil War, she was acquired by the Confederate government and used as a troop transport on the Mississippi River and its tributaries. After a Union naval force under Flag Officer Foote captured Fort Henry, Tennessee, on 6 February 1862, Lt. S. L. Phelps, in "Conestoga", led gunboats, "Tyler" and "Lexington", up the Tennessee River seeking Confederate shipping. On the 8th, they seized steamers, "Sallie Wood" and "Muscle". The former was laden with iron intended for shipment to Richmond, Virginia. Moreover, the sweep of the Union gunboats had compelled retreating Confederate forces to burn three other Southern vessels lest they be captured.

Service in the Union Navy

In returning down stream, "Muscle" sprang a leak and sank; but "Sallie Wood" descended safely and was taken into the Western Flotilla for service as a transport, a tugboat, and an ammunition ship. While steaming along the navigable branches of the Mississippi River, "Sallie Wood" occasionally braved fire from masked riverside batteries. In July, as she ascended the Mississippi carrying sick soldiers, she was fired upon by Confederate cannon concealed ashore at Carolina Landing, at Princeton, and at other points above.

Sank after shoreside attack

On the 21st of July, attacks on the steamer were made from Argyle Landing and from Island No. 82. A shot during the latter ambush pierced her steam drum and left her dead in the water. Her pilot used the current to run her aground on the island, but the cannonade continued until all of the side wheeler's officers, crew, and passengers had been forced to leave the ship. The Confederates later removed whatever they could salvage and burned the steamer to her waterline.


See also

* American Civil War
* Union Navy
* Confederate States Navy

External links

* [ USS Sallie Wood]

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