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Tensas

 

A river which rises in East Carrol Parish, La., and winds its way south to join the Ouachita at Jonesville.

 

(SwGbt: t. 41; 1. 91'; b. 22'5"; dph. 3'7˝"; dr. 4'; a. 2 24-pdr. how.)

 

Tom Sugg—a wooden-hulled side-wheel steamer built in 1860 at Cincinnati, Ohio—was outfitted as a side-wheel gunboat and served under the name Tom Sugg. She operated as a merchant river boat in Arkansas on the White River carrying cotton and general cargo. After the outbreak of the Civil War, she transported arms and horses for Confederate troops near the White River.

 

On 14 August 1863, USS Cricket ascended the Little Red River and captured Tom Sugg and Kaskaskia at Searcy's Landing. This blow destroyed Confederate river transportation in northern Arkansas and ultimately diminished the flow of supplies to Southern troops east of the Mississippi.

 

The United States Navy Department purchased the side-wheel gunboat from the Illinois Prize Court on 29 September 1863, and she was commissioned as Tensas on 1 January 1864 at Mound City, III., Acting Master E. C. Van Pelt in command. She served with the Mississippi River Squadron and was decommissioned on 7 August 1865. She was sold at public auction on 17 August 1865 at Mound City, III., to E. B. Trinidad.