Gunboats at Cape Girardeau

Frank Watson

Private
Joined
Oct 27, 2014
I see multiple mentions of two gunboats supporting Cape Girardeau against Marmaduke's attack on April 26, 1863. Anybody know which two?

I have checked what I consider to be the usual sources but no luck. Official Naval Records mention the Cincinnati and Osage, but then go on to explain why neither ever actually go to Cape Girardeau (not in proper repair). There is mention of the New Era, but only before the battle (not the future Essex "New Era" a smaller steamer).
 

Frank Watson

Private
Joined
Oct 27, 2014
Thanks, Swamp. I saw the communication to Cincinnati, saying " General Curtis having applied to me to send the Osage immediately
to Cape Girardeau, and as she can not be got ready as soon as desired, I think it necessary to direct you to prepare the Cincinnati as soon as possible to go on that service." Then later the Cincinnati was "in want of a rudder" so I was thinking neither could go. I guess they got Osage fixed up.

I had not seen anything about Little Rebel.
 
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Thanks, Swamp. I saw the communication to Cincinnati, saying " General Curtis having applied to me to send the Osage immediately
to Cape Girardeau, and as she can not be got ready as soon as desired, I think it necessary to direct you to prepare the Cincinnati as soon as possible to go on that service." Then later the Cincinnati was "in want of a rudder" so I was thinking neither could go. I guess they got Osage fixed up.

I had not seen anything about Little Rebel.
Now, without looking at the logs of the OSAGE and the CINCINNATI one has to assume the OSAGE went down. But, having said that the GARTSIDE apparently went to Carondelet to tow a gunboat to the Cape. Question is which gunboat? See Missouri Democrat, St. Louis, MO, Saturday, 25 April 1863, p. 4, col. 5. Nothing in the ORN says anything about the OSAGE being disabled, in fact she was to pick up some crew from the disabled CINCINNATI to go along. But, did the GARTSIDE tow the CINCINNATI to the Cape? The GARTSDE also took the 23rd Wisconsin to the Cape, see: Missouri Democrat, St. Louis, MO, Monday, 27 April 1863, p. 4, col. 6

As for the LITTLE REBEL, see: Missouri Democrat, St. Louis, MO, Wednesday, 29 April 1863, p. 1, col. 6 and Missouri Democrat, St. Louis, MO, Tuesday, 28 April 1863, p. 1, col. 5. She had on board the 25th and 27th Wisconsin. The record of the 25th says nothing about the Cape but the 27th does. They apparently stayed aboard and then returned to Columbus, Kentucky, where the LITTLE REBEL had been stationed.

The OCEAN WAVE took down the 37th Illinois, two companies of the 20th Iowa and two pieces of artillery, along with Col. Livingston of the 1st Nebraska. He had been in St. Louis on business and Lt-Col Baumer was in charge of the regiment during the battle.

The big question is: Where were the gunboat anchored? One report says one was above the Cape and one below. Another report says both were below the Cape. Yet another says they were both anchored on the Illinois side of the river across from the Cape.

Still digging. As a side, all my ancestors took part in the engagement with Jeffer's 8th Missouri cavalry.
 

Frank Watson

Private
Joined
Oct 27, 2014
Now, without looking at the logs of the OSAGE and the CINCINNATI one has to assume the OSAGE went down. But, having said that the GARTSIDE apparently went to Carondelet to tow a gunboat to the Cape. Question is which gunboat? See Missouri Democrat, St. Louis, MO, Saturday, 25 April 1863, p. 4, col. 5. Nothing in the ORN says anything about the OSAGE being disabled, in fact she was to pick up some crew from the disabled CINCINNATI to go along. But, did the GARTSIDE tow the CINCINNATI to the Cape? The GARTSDE also took the 23rd Wisconsin to the Cape, see: Missouri Democrat, St. Louis, MO, Monday, 27 April 1863, p. 4, col. 6

Well, that certainly makes me feel better. I had not checked page four of the Saturday Missouri Democrat! :smile:
 
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Well, that certainly makes me feel better. I had not checked page four of the Saturday Missouri Democrat! :smile:
Stupid me! I forgot to say in a post that the 25th and 27th Wisconsin regiments went up on the LITTLE REBEL but two transports accompanied her. Common sense says two regiments of at least 800-900 men couldn't go up on the LITTLE REBEL alone.
 

mofederal

Major
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Location
Southeast Missouri
Defenses of Cape Girardeau, Mo., during the Civil War. Forts A is highlighted as above the city itself. Fort D is located south of the city near the river as a white object. Fort B is harder to spot a little west of the city streets, near a black shape with a little blue to it.. Fort C is the whitish star shaped object southwest of the city streets. It is visible. There also some batteries and rifle pits on the map. You can enlarge the map by clicking on it.

Military_Map_of_Cape_Girardeau,_Mo.,_and_Vicinity,_Showing_the_location_of_the_Forts._Wm._Hoel...jpg
 
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