Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Covington I (Side-wheel Steamer)

(SwStr: t. 224; l. 126'; b. 37'; dph. 6'6"; cpl. 76; a. 4 24-pdr. sb., 2 30-pdr. r., 2 50-pdr. r.)

A city in Kentucky and smaller towns in several other States.

I

The first Covington, a side wheel steamer, was purchased in February 1863 from Samuel Wiggins at Cincinnati, Ohio; fitted for service at Cairo, Ill.; and assigned to the Mississippi Squadron, Acting Volunteer Lieutenant J. S. Kurd in command.

Serving in the Tennessee River to convoy Army transports and other ships, Covington had frequent encounters with Confederates along the banks. On 18 June she was transferred to the Mississippi River for similar duty on that river and the White, Black, and Red Rivers. Arriving at Memphis, Tenn., 20 June 1863, she sailed the following day convoying General Lyon and Little Rebel. She seized the steamer Eureka at Commerce, Miss., on 2 July for violation of the river blockade and sent her into Cairo. On 6 August she aided Paw Paw, sunk by a snag.

Ordered to report to Alexandria, La., 27 April 1864, Covington sailed with Signal protecting the Army transport Warner down the Red River. About 25 miles below Alexandria, they were attacked by Confederate infantry in force. After 5 hours of bitter fighting, the transport was captured and the two escorts were so badly damaged that they had to be abandoned and set afire. Lieutenant Lord and 32 of Covington's crew escaped to Alexandria.

Published: Mon Jul 06 08:08:19 EDT 2015