Return to DANFS IndexImage of an anchorReturn to Naval Historical Center homepage
flag banner
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships banner
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060



On 6 April 1862, Confederate forces under General Albert Sidney Johnston launched a successful surprise attack on advancing Union troops commanded by Major General U. S. Grant at Pittsburgh Landing, Tenn. However, the action, which stopped Grant's advance into the deep South, is usually called the Battle of Shiloh because of nearby Shiloh Church.


(Mon: dp. 1,175; l. 225'; b. 45'; dph. 9'; dr. 6'4 "; s. 9 k.; cpl. 60 (approx.) ; a. 2 11" D. sb.; cl. Casco)


A contract for the construction of Shiloh, a Casco-class light draft monitor, was awarded on 24 June 1863 to George C. Bestor of Peoria, Ill.; and her keel was laid down later that year at the yard of Charles W. McCordat St. Louis, Mo. However, while Shiloh was still under construction, Chimo, the first of the Casco-class monitors to be launched, was found to be unseaworthy.


On 25 June 1864, the Navy ordered Shiloh's builder to raise her deck 22 inches to give her sufficient freeboard. On 17 June 1865, after the end of the Civil War had prompted an American naval retrenchment, work on Shiloh was ordered suspended.


Nevertheless, it was decided to proceed with her launching; and an unsuccessful attempt to get her off the ways was made on 3 July 1865. After much labor, the ship finally entered the water 11 days later.


Shiloh saw no service before being laid up in 1866 at Mound City, Ill. On 15 June 1869, she was renamed Iris. In the same year, she was moved to New Orleans and laid up there. On 17 September 1874, the monitor was commissioned; but she saw no significant service before she was again laid up at New Orleans on 15 October 1874 and sold later that year.