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USS Tensas (1860)
Career (US) Naval ensign of the Confederate States of America (1863–1865).svg Flag of the United States (1865–1867).svg
Ordered: as Tom Sugg
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: in 1860 at Cincinnati, Ohio
Acquired: 29 September 1863
Commissioned: 1 January 1864
at Mound City, Illinois
Decommissioned: 7 August 1865
Struck: 1865 (est.)
Captured: by Union Navy forces
14 August 1863
Fate: sold, 17 August 1865
General characteristics
Displacement: 41 tons
Length: 91'
Beam: 22' 5"
Draught: depth of hold 3' 7½"
draft 4'
Propulsion: steam engine
side wheel-propelled
Speed: not known
Complement: not known
Armament: two 24-pounder howitzers

USS Tensas (1860) was a small 41-ton steamer captured by the Union Navy during the American Civil War.

After Tensas was acquired by the Union Navy, she was outfitted with two large 24-pounder howitzers, a type of gun especially useful for riverbank bombardment, and was then sent to the Mississippi River Squadron for the duration of the war.

Service with the ConfederacyEdit

Tom Sugg—a wooden-hulled side-wheel steamer built in 1860 at Cincinnati, Ohio—was outfitted as a side-wheel gunboat and served under the name Tom Sugg. She operated as a merchant river boat in Arkansas on the White River carrying cotton and general cargo. After the outbreak of the Civil War, she transported arms and horses for Confederate troops near the White River.

Capture by Union Navy forcesEdit

On 14 August 1863, USS Cricket ascended the Little Red River and captured Tom Sugg and Kaskaskia at Searcy's Landing. This blow destroyed Confederate river transportation in northern Arkansas and ultimately diminished the flow of supplies to Southern troops east of the Mississippi River.

Service with the Union NavyEdit

The United States Navy Department purchased the side-wheel gunboat from the Illinois Prize Court on 29 September 1863, and she was commissioned as Tensas on 1 January 1864 at Mound City, Illinois, Acting Master E. C. Van Pelt in command.

Post-war decommissioningEdit

Tensas was decommissioned on 7 August 1865. She was sold at public auction on 17 August 1865 at Mound City, Illinois, to E. B. Trinidad.

See alsoEdit


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

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