USS Ouachita, a 720-ton side-wheel "Tinclad" river gunboat, was built at New Albany, Indiana, in 1861 for civilian use. Taken over by the Confederate Army in early 1863 under the name Louisville, she was used as a cargo ship until captured on the Little Red River, Louisiana, on 13 July 1863 by the U.S. Navy gunboats Manitou and Rattler. She was subsequently taken over by the U.S. Navy, renamed Ouachita and converted to a rather large, lightly-armored gunboat. Commissioned in January 1864, she was assigned to the Mississippi Squadron, and participated in the March 1864 expedition up the Black and Ouachita rivers and the March-May 1864 Red River expedition. After the latter operation, Ouachita engaged in patrol activities. In May and June 1865, after the end of the Civil War, she went up the Red River to take over the Confederate ironclad Missouri. USS Ouachita decommissioned in July 1865 and was sold the following September. After her sale, she was employed as the merchant steamer Vicksburg until she burned on 6 July 1869.
This page features our only views of USS Ouachita.
For images related to Alfred Marshall, who served as Ouachita's pilot during her U.S. Navy service, see: Pilot Alfred Marshall, USN.