Date Original

1862 July 15


This collection contains a print of a drawing of the CSS Arkansas. in Vicksburg, Mississippi, on July 15, 1862. The print also has an image of Captain J.N. Brown. An image of Lieutenant A.D. Wharton is not visible due to water damage to the paper. The back of the drawing features a hand-written roster of the members of the crew of the ship. It says it was presented by Minnie Wharton Robinson, daughter of Lieutenant A.D. Wharton and Mary Kindrick Wharton. It is unknown to whom the drawing was originally presented. The collection also includes a list of men who served aboard the CSS Arkansas and autobiographical research on Arthur Dickson Wharton completed by the donor.

Biographical/Historical Note

The CSS Arkansas was an ironclad ram of the Confederate States Navy built between 1861 and 1862. Due to a lack of warships at the onset of the Civil War, the Confederate States Navy decided to build two ships, the Arkansas and the Tennessee. They were built by John T. Shirley and his master builder Primus Emerson. The ship was named after the state of Arkansas. The building began in Memphis, Tennessee, but it was not complete by the time Union forces closed in on Memphis in May of 1862. So, the ship was towed up the Yazoo River to Yazoo City, Mississippi, and completed there. On July 15, 1862, Commanding Officer Lieutenant Isaac Newton Brown, CSN, took Arkansas down the Yazoo River, where it encountered the Carondelet, Tyler, and the ram Queen of the West. The Arkansas left the first two ships badly damaged. On July 22, 1862, at Vicksburg, the Arkansas was attacked by the Queen of the West and the ironclad Essex; but, it was not severely damaged. On August 6, 1862, while carrying out a mission to assist Confederate forces in an attack on Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Arkansas suffered an engine failure during an engagement with Essex. It was abandoned, scuttled, and set afire to prevent capture. The CSS Arkansas now rests near the location where it originally sank, under a levee near Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Physical Description

Document, 8.5" x 11"

Geographical Area






Resource Type



CSS Arkansas print, MS.001029


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

CSS Arkansas print, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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United States History