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Era No. 5

 

(StwStr: t. 115)

 

Era No. 5, a shallow-draft steamer built in 1860 at Pittsburgh, Pa., was chartered by the Confederates early in 1863 to transport corn from the Red River to Camden, Ark. As the steamer, laden with 4,500 bushels of corn, proceeded to her destination on 14 February 1863, she rounded a sharp bend 15 miles above the mouth of the Black River, came upon and was captured by USS Indianola. Era No. 5 was then assigned to Col. C. R. Ellet's river fleet, fitted out with protective cotton baling and used by the Union as a dispatch boat and transport in the Mississippi.