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USS Cairo

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USS Cairo

USS Cairo, 1862

Photograph Courtesy of the US Navy

USS Cairo

  • Nation: Union
  • Type: Ironclad (City Class)
  • Displacement: 512 tons
  • Crew: 251
  • Wartime Service Dates: 1862-1862
  • Civil War Armament: 6 × 32-pdr guns, 3 × 8-inch shell guns, 4 × 42 pounder rifled guns, 1 × 12-pdr howitzer
  • Notes: Commissioned in January 1862, by James Eads & Co., USS Cairo was typical of the ironclad gunboats employed by the US Navy on the western rivers. Propelled by an enclosed paddle wheel (note the curved hump aft of the stacks), USS Cairo possessed a shallow draft that enabled it to maneuver effectively in the changing conditions of the Mississippi River system. After participating in attacks on Fort Pillow and aiding in the defeat of Confederate gunboats off Memphis, Cairo took part in the Yazoo Expedition. On December 12, 1862, the ship struck a mine near Haines Bluff, MS and sank in twelve minutes. Cairo's remains were raised in 1964, and are currently on display at Vicksburg National Military Park.
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