Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Republic (side-wheel steamer)

(SwStr: t. 699; l. 249'; b. 40'; dr. 7.3')

The steamboat Republic, owned in New Orleans in 1861, had been built at Jeffersonville, Ind., in 1855. Confederate Navy records do not reveal the length or nature of her mission but Union intelligence unmistakably credited Republic with being one of the largest troop transports on the upper Yazoo River until she was selected, prior to May 1863, for conversion to a ram. Thus Republic was being armored at Yazoo City when Federal forces threatened; her charred remains were found at the navy yard there when Admiral Porter's forces took possession, 21 May. Porter's 24 May report to Secretary Welles notes, "Three powerful rams were burned * * * (including) the Republic, being fitted for a ram with railroad iron plating."