USS Saint Clair, a 203-ton stern-wheel "tinclad" river gunboat, was built in 1862 at Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, for commercial use. Acquired by the Navy in August 1862, she was placed in commission the following month. During the rest of 1862 and the first part of 1863, Saint Clair operated on the Ohio, Green, Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers, taking part in the relief of Fort Donelson in February and a number of engagements with Confederate land forces. In one such action, on 3 April 1863 near Palmyra, Tennessee, she was disabled by enemy artillery, but was towed out of danger by another gunboat.
After repairs, Saint Clair escorted supply convoys on the Mississippi before going south in September 1863 to support Army operations in Louisiana. During March-May 1864, she took part in the Red River expedition. Thereafter, she patrolled the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers until after the end of the Civil War. USS Saint Clair was decommissioned in July 1865 and sold in August. She was used for civilian purposes from then until about 1869.
This page features our only view of USS Saint Clair.
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Photo #: NH 42362
USS Saint Clair (1862-1865)
Photographed on the Western Rivers during the Civil War.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Online Image: 67KB; 740 x 450 pixels
25 January 2000