This Week in the Civil War - 498
On February 3, 1863, the USS Queen of the West continued to wreak havoc with Confederate shipping on the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Originally commissioned as a civilian vessel in 1854, the side-wheel steamer was acquired by the War Department in 1862 and fitted with a ram.
Over the next year, along with six other boats, the Queen of the West allowed the Union to claim control over the entire Mississippi River up to Vicksburg. In the first week of February, the Queen of the West rammed the Confederate Vessel City of Vicksburg, and then drove ashore and captured three Confederate steamers.
On February 14, however, she was captured by Confederate forces and thereafter served with the Confederate navy, before finally being destroyed by the Union in the following April.