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Music

 

(SwStr: t. 330; l. 172'; b. 29'; dph. 6'; cpl. 25-40, 50 max., as pvtr.; a. 2 6-pdr.)

 

The New Orleans sidewheel towboat Music, driven by high-pressure machinery, was delivered from the builders at Jeffersonville, Ind., in 1857, and was serving Charles Morgan's Southern S. S. Co. when war broke. Within a month her owner and master, Capt. Thomas McLellan, had applied for a letter of marque and reprisal and was commissioned a privateer, 15 May 1861 [See Annex I]. By next reports, Music was in rundown condition but busy as an unarmed tender to Forts Jackson and St. Philip—also custodian, with tugs Mosher and Belle Algerine, of the fire rafts. But Music reappears late in July—apparently the same big towboat, for two New Orleans predecessors of that name, built in Jeffersonville also, are recorded as having finally turned in their documents, prewar.

 

In her new role in the Atchafalaya-Red River area under Captain Fuller, Music attracted constant attention and comment for a week or two—along with gunboat Dolly Webb or Webb, although accounts differ as to whether she carried three pieces of artillery, only two or merely a large company of riflemen. The greatest fear expressed by Farragut's forces was that the armed pair would join the menacing ram, Arkansas. Again, observers differ as to whether these armed tugs were Arkansas' only support during her death throes or failed to arrive in time to turn her about when she went out of command. Said to be, with Mobile and Webb, one of the last three Confederate gunboats on the river, Music is heard of no more in published official records.