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USS Covington (1863)
USS Covington.jpg
USS Covington, circa 1863-64
Career (US) Union Navy Jack
Ordered: as Covington No. 2
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: date unknown
Acquired: February 1863, in Cincinnati, Ohio
In service: circa February 1863
Out of service: 5 May 1864
Struck: 1864 (est.)
Fate: burned, 5 May 1864
General characteristics
Displacement: 224 Tons
Length: 126 ft (38 m)
Beam: 37 ft (11 m)
Depth of hold: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Propulsion: steam engine
side wheel-propelled
Speed: not known
Complement: 76
Armament: two 30-pounder rifles
two 50-pounder rifles
four 24-pounder smoothbores
Armour: tinclad

USS Covington (1863) was purchased by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She was assigned as a simple gunboat with powerful rifled guns to intercept blockade runners attempting to run the Union blockade of the Confederate States of America.

Covington did not carry mortars or howitzers, which placed her at a disadvantage when attacked riverside in 1864 by Confederate troops. Losing the battle, she was set on fire and most of the crew fortunately escaped.

Purchased in Ohio in 1863[edit | edit source]

Covington, a side wheel steamer, was purchased in February 1863 from Samuel Wiggins at Cincinnati, Ohio; fitted for service at Cairo, Illinois; and assigned to the Mississippi Squadron, Acting Volunteer Lieutenant George P. Lord in command.

Civil War service[edit | edit source]

Serving in the Tennessee River to convoy Union Army transports and other ships, Covington had frequent encounters with Confederates along the banks.

Mississippi River operations[edit | edit source]

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, Tennessee on 20 June 1863, she sailed the following day convoying General Lyon and Little Rebel. She seized the steamer Eureka at Commerce, Missouri, on 2 July for violation of the river blockade and sent her into Cairo, Illinois. On 6 August she aided Paw Paw, sunk by a snag.

Covington burned by her crew[edit | edit source]

Ordered to report to Alexandria, Louisiana on 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 five hours of bitter fighting, the transport was captured and the two escorts (Covington and Signal) were so badly damaged that they had to be abandoned and set afire. After Covington was set on fire by her crew, Lieutenant Lord and 32 of Covington's crew escaped to Alexandria.

Signal, however, was not so fortunate. After setting the ship on fire, her crew was captured by Confederate forces and made prisoners-of-war.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

External links[edit | edit source]

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