CSS Arkansas 23 Days of Service
"This Day in History"
July 15, 1862
CSS Arkansas, a Confederate Ironclad ram, was constructed in Memphis, Tennessee, but was incomplete when Union forces were closing in. She was towed down to Yazoo City, Mississippi, where she was completed, on July 15, 1862.
Her commanding officer, Lt. Isaac Newton Brown CSN, then took her down the Yazoo River, where Arkansas encountered the U.S. gunboats Carondelet and Tyler and the ram Queen of the West, which she left the Carondelet and Tyler badly damaged.
Going from the Yazoo River to the Mississippi River, Arkansas, fought her way through the assembled Union fleet, and came to rest under the protection of the Confederate fortress at Vicksburg. While there, she was attacked by the Queen of the West and ironclad Essex, but was not badly damaged. While still needing repairs, Arkansas steamed down the Mississippi River to assist Confederate forces in an attack on Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
On August 6, 1862, Arkansas suffered a severe machinery breakdown during an engagement with the Essex. After she drifted ashore, she was burnet to prevent capture.
Author: Lyle Grisham
Completed as a student intern through the University of Arkansas at Little Rock History Department.