A Union-commissioned iron-clad gunboat made by James B. Eads of St. Louis is launched around 4 p.m. from Carondelet, according to an article in The Missouri Democrat republished by Civil War reenacting organization The Turner Brigade. “The boat was gradually lowered into the ‘father of waters’ [editor’s note: the Mississippi River] upon the ways on which it was built and such was the noiseless, and almost imperceptible manner of the operation, that we found the boat floating gracefully upon the water, and nobody hurt … .” The author expected the vessel to be completed just days later. This image shows a similar gunboat commissioned in 1862, the USS Cairo, also commissioned from Eads and company.

Photo credit: Historic American Engineering Record, Creator, et al., photographers by Lowe, Jet, and Todd A Croteau. U.S.S. Cairo Ironclad, Vicksburg, Warren County, MS. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,  www.loc.gov/item/ms0291/.