Wednesday, December 22, 2004


This day in Naval History


1841 - USS Mississippi, the first U.S. ocean-going side-wheel steam warship, is commissioned in Philadelphia.

Mississippi-class sidewheel steamer (1f/3m) L/B/D: 229 × 40 (66.5ew) × 21.8 (69.8m × 12.2m (20.1m) × 6.6m) Tons: 3,220 disp Hull: wood Comp: 257 Arm: 2 × 10, 8 × 8 Mach: side-lever engines, 700 nhp, sidewheels; 11 kts Des: John Lenthall, Hartt & Humphries Built: Philadelphia Navy Yard; 1841.

One of the first sidewheel steam frigates ordered for the U.S. Navy, USS Mississippi was built under the personal supervision of Commodore Matthew Perry, formerly commander of USS Fulton II and a strong advocate of steam propulsion. Rigged as a bark, Mississippi was used extensively to test the utility of steam for naval operations. As with all paddle frigates, her greatest deficiency was that the placement of her paddles interfered with the guns, and her engines were vulnerable to enemy fire.

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