USS Kinsman, a 245-ton gunboat, was built in 1854 at Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, as the civilian side-wheel steamship Grey Cloud. She was seized at New Orleans, Louisiana, in May 1862 and fitted out by the U.S. Army as a gunboat, with a Navy officer in command. Named Kinsman, or Colonel Kinsman, she was active in Louisiana inland waters west of the Mississippi River during the last three months of 1862, engaging the Confederate gunboat J.A. Cotton on 3 November and capturing or destroying three enemy-controlled steamers during the next few days.
At the beginning of 1863 Kinsman was formally transferred to the U.S. Navy, but her area of operation remained as before. On 14 January she was part of a small Union flotilla that attacked Confederate fortifications at Bayou Teche, an action that helped open nearby waterways and resulted in the destruction of the J.A. Cotton. USS Kinsman was sunk near Brashear City, Louisiana, when she struck a submerged log on 23 February 1863.
This page features the only view we have concerning USS Kinsman.
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Photo #: NH 58767
"The Fight at Corney's Bridge, Bayou Teche, Louisiana, and Destruction of the Rebel Gun-boat 'Cotton,', January 14, 1863."
Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1863, showing the Confederate gunboat J.A. Cotton engaging Federal gunboats, as Confederate troops fire from the shore. U.S. Navy ships in this engagement were Kinsman, Estrella, Diana and Calhoun.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Online Image: 172KB; 740 x 605 pixels
Page made 21 November 2004