The Naval Photos Of A Southern Photographer

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ucvrelics

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One of the things I have been able to do in my first few weeks of retirement when I'm not out relic hunting is research. While in the Louisiana archives today I came across photos of several US Navy ships take by McPherson & Oliver of New Orleans. One that stuck out was a ratty looking boat called USS Estrella. Doesn't look much like a Navy gunboat to me.
uss estrella.png

The camera stand on the bank of a river looking toward the U.S.S.Estrella, a side-wheel steamer. She was transferred from the Army to the Navy late in 1862, and commissioned soon after. Assigned to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, Estrella served throughout the war off Mobile and New Orleans, along the Texas coast, and up the rivers flowing into the Gulf. During the first 13 days of November 1862 she took part in a series of engagements with CSS Cotton and Confederate shore batteries along the Atchafalaya River and Bayou Teche. With her captain serving as commander of the flotilla maintained in Berwick Bay Estrella led the attack on CSS Queen of the West 14 April 1863. Four days later, Cooke led his flotilla up the Atchafalaya once more, to attack the batteries at Butte-a-la-Rose. The batteries were captured intact, with their garrison of 60 men and large supplies of ammunition and commissary stores. From 3 to 6 May 1863, Estrella sailed up the Red River to join in the attack on Fort De Russy, and during June and July participated in the attacks on Port Hudson which led to its fall on 9 July. After being repaired at New Orleans in the first 4 months of 1865, Estrella served as flagship of the West Gulf Squadron, continuing to cruise in the Gulf of Mexico and its tributary waters until 30 June 1867, when she sailed for New York Navy Yard. There she was decommissioned 16 July 1867, and sold 9 October 1867.
 

georgew

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One of the things I have been able to do in my first few weeks of retirement when I'm not out relic hunting is research. While in the Louisiana archives today I came across photos of several US Navy ships take by McPherson & Oliver of New Orleans. One that stuck out was a ratty looking boat called USS Estrella. Doesn't look much like a Navy gunboat to me.
View attachment 304229
The camera stand on the bank of a river looking toward the U.S.S.Estrella, a side-wheel steamer. She was transferred from the Army to the Navy late in 1862, and commissioned soon after. Assigned to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, Estrella served throughout the war off Mobile and New Orleans, along the Texas coast, and up the rivers flowing into the Gulf. During the first 13 days of November 1862 she took part in a series of engagements with CSS Cotton and Confederate shore batteries along the Atchafalaya River and Bayou Teche. With her captain serving as commander of the flotilla maintained in Berwick Bay Estrella led the attack on CSS Queen of the West 14 April 1863. Four days later, Cooke led his flotilla up the Atchafalaya once more, to attack the batteries at Butte-a-la-Rose. The batteries were captured intact, with their garrison of 60 men and large supplies of ammunition and commissary stores. From 3 to 6 May 1863, Estrella sailed up the Red River to join in the attack on Fort De Russy, and during June and July participated in the attacks on Port Hudson which led to its fall on 9 July. After being repaired at New Orleans in the first 4 months of 1865, Estrella served as flagship of the West Gulf Squadron, continuing to cruise in the Gulf of Mexico and its tributary waters until 30 June 1867, when she sailed for New York Navy Yard. There she was decommissioned 16 July 1867, and sold 9 October 1867.
Thanks for posting this. I'd never seen a graphic of this vessel before.
 
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Bil R

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Hello Captain,

This is a rare, fantastic photograph of a little known USN gunboat, thank you for sharing it. I've never seen it before but it allows me to compare the sketches of her done in the 'Cotten' affair to assess the accuracy of the artist. Please post other McPherson & Oliver photographs if possible. Keep in mind that New Orleans (lower Algiers) was used postwar as a USN reserve station and many decommissioned vessels were tied up there for months on end. In addition, several surrendered Confederate vessels and prizes were also held there prior to being sold off. I would think M & O would find these vessels of interest and photograph them. I know of at least one poor photograph of the ironclad CSS Nashville taken in 1867 by a Swiss photographer. Who knows, there could be more.

All the best,
Bil
 
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rebelatsea

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Hello Captain,

This is a rare, fantastic photograph of a little known USN gunboat, thank you for sharing it. I've never seen it before but it allows me to compare the sketches of her done in the 'Cotten' affair to assess the accuracy of the artist. Please post other McPherson & Oliver photographs if possible. Keep in mind that New Orleans (lower Algiers) was used postwar as a USN reserve station and many decommissioned vessels were tied up there for months on end. In addition, several surrendered Confederate vessels and prizes were also held there prior to being sold off. I would think M & O would find these vessels of interest and photograph them. I know of at least one poor photograph of the ironclad CSS Nashville taken in 1867 by a Swiss photographer. Who knows, there could be more.

All the best,
Bil
A photo of CSS Nashville - I'd LOVE to see that WOW.
 

rebelatsea

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One of the things I have been able to do in my first few weeks of retirement when I'm not out relic hunting is research. While in the Louisiana archives today I came across photos of several US Navy ships take by McPherson & Oliver of New Orleans. One that stuck out was a ratty looking boat called USS Estrella. Doesn't look much like a Navy gunboat to me.
View attachment 304229
The camera stand on the bank of a river looking toward the U.S.S.Estrella, a side-wheel steamer. She was transferred from the Army to the Navy late in 1862, and commissioned soon after. Assigned to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, Estrella served throughout the war off Mobile and New Orleans, along the Texas coast, and up the rivers flowing into the Gulf. During the first 13 days of November 1862 she took part in a series of engagements with CSS Cotton and Confederate shore batteries along the Atchafalaya River and Bayou Teche. With her captain serving as commander of the flotilla maintained in Berwick Bay Estrella led the attack on CSS Queen of the West 14 April 1863. Four days later, Cooke led his flotilla up the Atchafalaya once more, to attack the batteries at Butte-a-la-Rose. The batteries were captured intact, with their garrison of 60 men and large supplies of ammunition and commissary stores. From 3 to 6 May 1863, Estrella sailed up the Red River to join in the attack on Fort De Russy, and during June and July participated in the attacks on Port Hudson which led to its fall on 9 July. After being repaired at New Orleans in the first 4 months of 1865, Estrella served as flagship of the West Gulf Squadron, continuing to cruise in the Gulf of Mexico and its tributary waters until 30 June 1867, when she sailed for New York Navy Yard. There she was decommissioned 16 July 1867, and sold 9 October 1867.
"Ratty looking boat" - how rude. LOL.
 

bdtex

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That's good stuff. Read about her in Donald Frazier's trilogy of books on Civil War Louisiana.
 
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redbob

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I have been on the hunt for a CSS Nashville photo for a long time as she was here in Demopolis for awhile.
Ask and you may just receive, a drawing of the CSS Nashville as she appeared when surrendered. Photo U.S. Navy. As far as the US Navy knows, there were never any photos take of the Nashville.
098640301.jpg
 
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rebelatsea

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Ask and you may just receive, a drawing of the CSS Nashville as she appeared when surrendered. Photo U.S. Navy. As far as the US Navy knows, there were never any photos take of the Nashville.View attachment 304310
The only problem is that she didn't look like that. that is based on sketch by admiral Farragut .The painting by Confederate Engineer Leon J. Fremaux of her and CSS Tennessee completed from sketches done on the spot show her to look like my plan. I hope I don't get into trouble for reproducing my copy here.
CSS NASHVILLE SEPT 1863.jpg
COMPOSITE PLAN OF CSS NASHVILLE AS COMPLETED.jpg
 
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