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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
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Warrior

 

(SwRam: cpl. 40; a. 1 32-pdr.)

 

Warrior, a sidewheel gunboat-ram had been a tugboat on the Mississippi River before she was acquired by the Confederate Government. Capt. James E. Montgomery selected her to be part of his River Defense Fleet [See Annex II]. On 25 January 1862 Montgomery began to convert her into a cottonclad ram by placing a 4-inch oak sheath with a 1-inch iron covering on her bow, and by installing double pine bulkheads filled with compressed cotton bales to protect machinery and boilers.

 

Warrior's conversion was completed on 16 March 1862. In early April, under the command of Capt. J. A. Stevenson, she was detached from Montgomery's main force and sent to Forts Jackson and St. Philip on the lower Mississippi to cooperate in the Confederate defense of New Orleans. Captain Stevenson, who was also in charge of five other River Defense Fleet vessels in this area, placed his force under the overall command of Captain J. K. Mitchell, CSN, commanding Confederate naval forces in the lower Mississippi.

 

On 24 April 1862 Flag Officer D. G. Farragut, USN, ran his fleet past Forts Jackson and St. Philip on his way to capture New Orleans. In this action, Warrior, while under the guns of USS Brooklyn, received a broadside of eleven 5-second shells which exploded in her. Warrior was driven on the bank a little above Fort St. Philip, instantly began to burn, and was soon destroyed.