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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
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W. Burton

 

(SwStr: t. 253; l. 151'; b. 25'; dr. 5'6"; cpl. 75)

 

W. Burton, also known as William Burton and Burton, was built at New Albany, Ind., in 1857. She was operating privately as a New Orleans steamboat prior to being acquired by the Confederate States. In April 1862 W. Burton is reported serving as an unarmed tender to CSS Louisiana.

 

Under Captain Hammond, W. Burton was attached to the force of Capt. J. K. Mitchell, CSN, commanding Confederate naval forces in the lower Mississippi near the Confederate forts St. Philip and Jackson. W. Burton was also used to berth many of the officers and crew of Louisiana while the latter, with mechanics on board working day and night, was being prepared as well as possible for battle.

 

Flag Officer D. G. Farragut, USN, ran his fleet up the lower Mississippi past the Confederate forts on 24 April 1862, and inflicted great damage on the Confederate ships. In the engagement W. Burton was badly damaged but remained seaworthy. Captain Hammond and his crew left her and turned her over to Captain Mitchell to be operated directly by the Confederate Navy.

 

The Confederate Forts, Jackson and St. Philip surrendered on 28 April 1862 to Comdr. D. D. Porter, USN. Captain Mitchell believing that he was not bound by the surrender of the army command at the forts, set fire to Louisiana on the east bank of the Mississippi near Fort St. Philip to keep her from falling into Union hands. He and his men, realizing that capture was inevitable, retired to the opposite shore with the unarmed tenders W. Burton and Landis. After three Federal gunboats fired at them, W. Burton and Landis surrendered to Commander Porter.

 

W. Burton was turned over to the U.S. Army and used as a transport in the Mississippi River.