Western Gun-Boat Ram "Indianola"
Black ink and wash, red watercolor, blue gouache, and graphite on lined paper
Overall: 8 x 12 1/2 in. ( 20.3 x 31.8 cm )
Inscribed and signed at lower right outside image in black ink: "drawn by Henry Mehles. Lieutnt. Comp. B. / N.Y. Vol. Enginrs. Hilton Head Febr. 26.63."; at upper center in black ink and wash: "Western Gun-boat Ram 'Indianola'"
Civil War Drawings Collection. Either copied from or engraved for Harper's Weekly Magazine, 7 February 1863, with the same title. USS Indianola, an ironclad river monitor propelled by both side wheels and screw propellers, was commissioned in September 1862. This drawing was made during her brief stint on the Mississippi. On 16 February 1863, lookouts in Indianola spotted Confederate steamer CSS Webb abreast Ellis Cliffs. Webb turned about and dashed downstream and out of sight around a bend in the river. The next afternoon Indianola proceeded to the mouth of the Red River, where she maintained a blockade until, on the evening of 24 February the Confederate ram Webb and Queen of the West overtook Indianola and attacked from each side, ramming her seven times before the ironclad, "in an almost powerless condition," ran her bow on the west bank of the river and surrendered.
James B. Wilbur Fund
John T. Kavanaugh Collection, Rutherford, New Jersey, 1945
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.