Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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(SwGbt: t. 720; l. 227-6-; b. 38-0-; dr. 7-0-; dph. 7-6-; a. 4 30-pdr. Army P.r., 1 30 pdr. Navy P.r., 8 24-pdrs., 1 12 pdr. r.)

A river in Arkansas and Louisiana, also spelled Washita.

Union gunboats Manitou and Rattler captured Confederate side wheel steamer Louisville in the Little Red River 13 July 1863. The Navy purchased the prize from the Prize Court at Cairo, Ill., 29 September 1863, and commissioned her as Ouachita 18 January 1864. Lt. Comdr. Byron Wilson assumed command 1 February.

During the remainder of the Civil War, the gunboat operated in the Mississippi and its tributaries, especially the Red, Black, and Ouachita rivers. She participated in Rear Admiral Porter's expedition up the Red River to Alexandria 12 March to 22 May 1864. She performed patrol duty through the end of the war, and again ascended the Red River in May and June 1865 to receive the surrender of Confederate forces.

Decommissioned 3 July 1865, Ouachita was sold at auction at Mound City, Ill., 25 September 1865 to Tait, Able, and Gill.

Published: Tue Aug 18 08:29:37 EDT 2015