Skip to main content
Related Content
Document Type
  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
  • Civil War 1861-1865
File Formats
Location of Archival Materials

Ida (Tug)


The Navy retained the name carried by this vessel at the time of her acquisition.

(Tug: tonnage 104; armament 1 gun)

Ida was chartered by the Navy at New Orleans, La., on 3 February 1863 and purchased on 6 March. Assigned to the mortar flotilla for use as a dispatch vessel and for towing the motor boats in the swift and tricky currents of the Mississippi, she operated primarily below Port Hudson, maintaining communication between the flotilla and the squadron flagship. She was also used commandeering and towing off any boats suitable for military use found in the river.

Ida came under fire while assisting Iberville on 3 July 1863 but escaped damage. After Port Hudson fell on 9 July clearing the entire Mississippi for Union shipping, Ida continued to operate in the lower river towing ocean-going vessels between the mouth of the river and New Orleans.

Early in 1865 she was ordered to Mobile Bay, where she arrived on 1 February. Two weeks later, she took on board two smoothbore howitzers in preparation for picket duty.

While clearing the main channel of Mobile Bay on 13 April 1865, Ida struck a torpedo [mine] which crushed the timbers on her starboard side, burst her boilers, and tore up her decks. In a few moments, she flooded and sank in mid-channel. Three members of her crew were killed and two wounded.

Her wrecked hull was sold on 11 September 1865.

Updated, Robert J. Cressman

25 May 2022

Published: Wed May 25 11:21:01 EDT 2022