From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


Brilliant is an adjective which distinguishes by quality that which excites admiration.

(StwStr: T. 227; l. 154'8"; b. 33'6"; dr. 5'; s. 6 mph; a. 2 12-pdr. R., 2 12-pdr. S. B.)

Brilliant, a wooden stern-wheel steamer, was built in 1862 at Brownsville, Pa., and purchased by the War Department, 13 August 1862, at St. Louis, Mo., transferred to the Navy with the Western Flotilla 1 October 1862 and commissioned the following day, Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Charles G. Perkins in command.

After undergoing repairs Brilliant sailed from St. Louis 25 September 1862 to join the Mississippi Squadron at Cairo, Ill. Throughout the Civil War she operated very actively on the Ohio, Cumberland, Tennessee, and Mississippi Rivers until 2 August 1866. On 3 February 1863 she assisted in repelling the Confederate attack on Fort Donelson, Tenn., and from 3 December until 16 December 1864 supported the Union Army's attack on Nashville, Tenn.

Brilliant was sold at public auction 17 August 1865 at Mound City, Ill.