John Baron De Kalb was born in Huettendorf, Bavaria, 29 June 1721. He accompanied Lafayette to America in 1777 and was appointed a Major General in the Continental Army. He was mortally wounded leading Maryland and Delaware troops in the Battle of Camden (16 August 1780) and died three days later. He is buried at Camden, N.J.
(StwGbt: T. 512; l. 1775'; b. 51'2"; dr. 6'; s. 9 mph.; cpl. 251; a. 2 8" S. B., 4 42-pdr. R., 7 32-pdr. S. B.; cl. Cairo)
St. Louis, a stern wheel casemate gunboat was built by James B. Eads, Carondelet, Mo., for the War Department. She was launched as St. Louis 12 October 1861 and joined the Western Gunboat Fleet.
During 1862 St. Louis, under the command of Lieutenant L. Paulding, was attached to Rear Admiral A. H. Foote's squadron and participated in the capture of Fort Henry on the Tennessee River (6 February 1862). She served as flagship for the suqadron when it assisted the Union Army at the capture of Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River (14-16 February 1862). Between April and June 1862, she operated against Fort Pillow, Tenn. St. Louis was renamed Baron De Kalb 8 September 1862. On 1 October 1862 Baron De Kalb was transferred to the Navy Department. During 21-28 December she took part in the Yazoo Expediton and participated in the action at Drumgould's Bluff (28 December).
During 1863 Baron De Kalb took part in the capture of Arkansas Post (10-11 January); expedition up the White River (12-14 January); Yazoo Pass Expedition (20 February-5 April); action at Fort Pemberton (11-13 March); action at Haines' Bluff (29 April-2 May, 18 May); action at Yazoo City, Miss. (20-23 May); and the Yazoo River Expedition (24-31 May). On 13 July 1963 Baron De Kalb was sunk by a torpedo in the Yazoo River, one mile below Yazoo City, Miss.
7 March 2006