USS Eastport

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Eastport Str-

Eastport

Towns in California, Idaho, Maine, and Michigan.

(Str: t. 700; 1. 280'; dr. 6'3"; a. 2 12-par., 4 32-par.,
2 30-par.)

The first Eastport, a partially completed ironclad, was captured from the Confederates on 7 February 1862 at Cerro Gordo, Tenn., by the Union gunboats Conestoga, Tyler and Lexington. Converted at Cairo, Ill., into an ironclad ram for use by the Army, she sailed from that port late in August under the command of Lieutenant Commander S. L. Phelps for duty in the Mississippi River between Island No. 10 and the mouth of the White River, Ark. She was back at Cairo for repairs when, on 1 October 1862, Eastport and the other vessels of the Western Flotilla were turned over to the Navy and renamed the Mississippi Squadron.

Eastport sailed from Cairo to join her squadron at Vicksburg, Miss., but struck bottom on 2 February 1863 and returned to Cairo for repairs. She stood down the river on 19 June for Helena, Ark., and served the rest of her career in the Mississippi and its tributaries as a convoy and patrol vessel, helping capture over 14,000 bales of cotton. On 5 March 1864, she dropped down to the mouth of the Red River for the joint Army-Navy expedition.

She passed through the obstructions below Fort De Russy, in whose capture she joined, then continued up the Red River above Grand Ecore until 5 April, when she rounded to and stood down again On 15 April 1864, she suffered a torpedo explosion. Despite every effort to bring her out, she had to be destroyed on the 26th to prevent her falling into rebel hands.