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Grand Duke

 

(SwStr: t. 508; l. 205'; b. 35'; dr. 7'6")

 

Grand Duke, a steamer built at Jeffersonville, Ind., in 1859, was outfitted as a cotton-clad gunboat for service with the Confederate army in February 1863. She transported troops to Fort Taylor, La., late in February. On 14 April 1863 she was in company with the steamer Mary T., and ram Queen of the West when they were taken under attack on the Atchafalaya River, La., by Union vessels Estrella, Calhoun, and Arizona. Her speed, turning power, and superior piloting allowed Grand Duke to escape up river.

 

On 4 May 1863 Grand Duke and Mary T. were taking on guns, ordnance stores, and other public property prior to the evacuation of Fort De Russy, La., when a Union reconnaissance force that included Albatross, Estrella and Arizona hove into view. In the ensuing hour-long engagement, each of the principal contestants sustained damage, but the Union ships withdrew, allowing the Confederates to remove their materiel further up the Red River and to delay the Federal advance by obstructing the river. Grand Duke was ordered to Shreveport, La., where she burned late in 1863.