In addition to these main gunboat types, the US Navy and the War Department operated a number of other vessels on the Mississippi and its tributaries. Some of these, such as the USS General Bragg or (he USS Sumter, were gunboats captured from the Confederates. Others performed non-combatant roles. Several captured Confederate vessels
The US Navy's first hospital ship was the USS Red Rover, a former Confederate river steamer which was captured at Island No. 10 in April 1862. She carried a medical staff of 30 doctors and nurses, and had facilities for the treatment of over 200 casualties. (US Navy)
were used as storeships or ordnance boats, while other support craft were purchased by the War Department. These vessels included the 625-ton USS Red Rover, the US Navy's first hospital ship. Around a dozen tugs were attached to the river fleet, and these were frequently called on to guide the larger warships through narrow tributaries, or to pull them off sandbars. Although the tugs were unarmed, other support craft occasionally carried a minimal armament of Impounders or sometimes larger pieces. Their role was strictly a supporting one, and these guns were purely provided for self-defense.
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