From: Dictionary of American Fighting Ships


Any of numerous small, graceful, and swift antelopes, with lustrous eyes, found especially in South Africa, northern Africa, Iran, and India.


(SwStr: t. 117; l. 135'; b. 23'; dr. 4'; s. 4 k.; a. 6 12-pdr. r.)

The first Gazelle, a side-wheel steamer built at Madison, Ind., in 1803 as Emma Brown, was purchased at Cincinnati, Ohio, 21 November 1863 for duty with the Mississippi River Squadron, and commissioned by February 1864 at Cairo, Ill., Acting Master Charles Thatcher in command.

Gazelle reached the mouth of the Red River in time to join Admiral Porter's joint Army-Navy expedition of 12 March-22 May 1864. The operation was part of the campaign against Texas designed to gain a strong foothold there and to thwart the French intervention in Mexico. Serving between the mouth of the Red River and Grand Ecore, La., Gazelle engaged enemy shore units, convoyed Army transports, and patrolled the river while Navy gunboats assisted in the capture of Fort De Russy. For the next year the ship patrolled between the mouth of the Red River and Morganza, La. and convoyed transports. On 24 May 1865 she embarked Confederate Generals Buckner and Price at the mouth of the Red River and brought them to Baton Rouge to negotiate a surrender with General Canby. Subsequently, following repairs at New Orleans, Gazelle steamed upriver to Mound City, Ill., arriving 25 June. She decommissioned there 7 July 1865; she was sold 17 August 1865 to Henry Scott et al. She was redocumented as Plain City 23 October and operated until abandoned in 1869.


Transcribed by Yves HUBERT (