USS General Lyon
A 390-ton side-wheel river steamer, was built in 1860 at New Albany, Indiana, as the civilian ship De Soto
. After serving as the Confederate gunboat De Soto
in 1861-62, she was captured by Federal forces at Island Number Ten on 7 April 1862. The U.S. Army employed her as a transport until the U.S. Navy acquired her in September 1862. Changing her name from De Soto
in October 1862, the Navy's Mississippi Squadron used her as a ordnance, stores and dispatch vessel during the remainder of the Civil War. General Lyon
was decommissioned and sold in August 1865. Renamed Alabama
as a civilian steamer, she burned on 1 April 1867 at Grand View, Louisiana.
CSS De Soto (1861-1862)
De Soto , a 390-ton side-wheel river steamer, was built at New Albany, Indiana, in 1860. In 1862, Confederate forces employed her as a gunboat on the Mississippi River. She was captured by the United States at Island Number Ten on 7 April 1862. In October 1862, after briefly serving as a U.S. Army transport, she became USS General Lyon .
12 Pound Howitzer on upper deck of the USS General Lyon
Line engraving, based on a sketch by Alexander Simplot, published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862
depicting ships sunk by the Confederates off their fortifications at Island Number 10, circa 7 April 1862.
As identified on the engraving, the ships are (from left to right):
Champion , Yazoo , Grampus , John Simonds , Red Rover , Prince , Admiral , Ohio Belle , De Soto , Kanawha Valley , Winchester and Mars . Most of these vessels, some of which were not sunk, were later employed by the Union forces.