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Landis

 

(SwStr: t. 377; l. 190'; b. 30'; dph. 9'; cpl. 75)

 

Landis, also known as Joseph Landis, I. C. Landis, and Landes, was a high pressure steamer built in 1853 at Cincinnati, Ohio. She was partly owned by her Master, M. Davis, until acquired at New Orleans by the Confederate States in 1862 to be used primarily as a tender to CSS Louisiana. On 22 April 1861, Captain Davis had applied for a letter of marque, with Peter Marcy and others, at New Orleans, alleging Joseph Landis was "very fast." [See Annex I.]

 

Under Captain Davis, Landis was attached to the force of Capt. J. K. Mitchell, CSN, commanding Confederate naval forces in the lower Mississippi in the area of the Confederate forts St. Philip and Jackson. On 20 April 1862 she helped tow the unfinished and still unmanageable Confederate warship Louisiana into place near the guns of Fort St. Philip, in anticipation of a defensive engagement with Union forces. Landis also served as living quarters for many of the officers and crew of Louisiana while the latter, with mechanics on board working day and night, was being prepared 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. Landis, although remaining seaworthy, was seriously hurt. Captain Davis 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 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 Landis and W. Burton. After three Federal gunboats fired over them, Landis and W. Burton, under Captain Mitchell, surrendered to Commander Porter.

 

Landis was used by the U.S. Army as a tugboat and transport in the Mississippi River and Gulf areas for the rest of the war.