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USS General Price (1863-1865)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS General Price (1863-1865)

General Sterling Price (also called Sterling Price and General Price) was a wooden, river steamer built at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1856 as Laurent Millaudon. She was taken into the Confederate service, renamed General Sterling Price (see "Confederate Appendix." DANFS II, 525), converted to a ram, and saw action in the defense of Fort Pillow and Memphis, Tenn. In the Battle of Memphis, on 6 June 1862, General Sterling Price was sunk and captured by naval forces under Flag Officer C. H. Davis. Raised by the Army soon after the battle, she was moved into the Union service under Lt. LeRoy Fitch 16 June 1862 and was moved to Cairo, Ill., for repairs. "The ram was formerly transferred to the Navy by Quartermaster H. A. Wise at Cairo 30 September 1862. Although at that time she was renamed USS General Price (1863-1865), she continued to be referred to as General Sterling Price in dispatches.

Completing repairs and conversion at Cairo 11 March 1863, USS General Price (1863-1865) departed for duty with the Mississippi Squadron. Rear Admiral Porter was at that time attempting to transit shallow and overgrown Steele's Bayou in a move to cut off Vicksburg from the rear, and USS General Price (1863-1865) joined the expedition. After several days of slow and difficult progress, harassed by Confederate troops, the gunboats were forced to withdraw 22 March 1863. USS General Price (1863-1865) departed Grand Gulf for the Red River 3 May and took part in the capture of Alexandria, La., and the partial destruction of Fort De Russy, La., 3 to 17 May. During this period, USS General Price (1863-1865) acted briefly as Admiral Porter's flagship, and on 10 May she was sent on a reconnaissance up the Black River, where she engaged strong Confederate batteries at Harrisonburg, La.

USS General Price (1863-1865) rejoined the squadron at Memphis 2 December 1863 and soon became part of Rear Admiral Porter's planned expedition up the Red River. Before joining Porter, she accidentally rammed Conestoga 8 March 1864 after a confusion in whistle signals, causing the latter ship to sink quickly, a total loss. Accompanying the Red River expedition as far as Alexandria, USS General Price (1863-1865)returned to the mouth of the river 6 April convoying transports.

She then took up regular cruising station on the lower Mississippi River, protecting transports, landing reconnaissance parties, and keeping the river free from Confederate guerrillas. While on this duty, she engaged a Southern battery off Tunica Bend, La., 19 May, forced it to withdraw, and landed a shore party which burned the Confederate headquarters. USS General Price (1863-1865) continued her patrol duties between New Orleans and Donaldsonville, La., until the end of the war. She decommissioned at Mound City, Ill., 24 July 1865 and was sold 3 October 1865 to W. H. Harrison.

For a complete history of USS General Price (1863-1865) please see its DANFS page.