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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Lioness

 

(SwStr: t. 40)

 

Built in Philadelphia in 1857, steam ram Lioness was taken over by the Navy commissioned in 1862, Lt. Crandall in command, and joined the Union flotilla on the western rivers.

 

After fitting out at Pittsburg in April 1862, Lioness departed New Albany for Cairo 12 May. Scouting Fort Pillow with other rams on the 1st of June, she participated on the 6th in the Battle of Memphis, a one-sided, Union victory. Lioness then joined other rams and three gunboats, convoying and covering Army troops under Colonel Woods in a joint expedition from Helena to the Yazoo River, capturing Fairplay, and destroying newly constructed Confederate batteries 20 miles up the Yazoo. The expedition also dispersed Confederates at Greenville, before retiring 27 August.

 

In December, Lioness was at Mound City, preparing for further efforts against Vicksburg. On 6 February, she formed part of the expedition to Yazoo Pass and GreenviIIe, operating there until 12 April. Then she and three other rams supported Colonel Elletís marine brigade in the Tennessee.

 

After southern naval power on the rivers had been wiped out, Lioness was laid up at Mound City until sold in 1865. She served American commerce until sold abroad in 1873.