By: Martin Donell Kohout

Type: General Entry

Published: November 1, 1994

Updated: March 9, 2016

In the Union blockade of Texas seaports during the Civil War the USS Arthur captured five Confederate vessels and was one of three federal boats to attack Corpus Christi in August 1862. The bark was a three-masted sailing ship built in Amesburg, Massachusetts, in 1855 and commissioned on December 11, 1861, with acting volunteer lieutenant J. W. Kittredge in command. The officers included W.C. Smidt as Executive Officer, E.T Jones and W.H. Merrithew as Acting Masters, O.D. Root as Master Surgeon, Marcus B. Osborn as Assistant Paymaster, and William Barker, John L. Constrat, and T.N. Meyer as Master's Mates. The Arthur set sail from New York in January 1862, joined the Gulf blockading squadron off the Texas coast, and cruised between Aransas Pass and Cavallo Pass until August of that year. On August 18 the Arthur joined the Sachem and the Corypheus in an attack on Corpus Christi in which three Confederate vessels were burned. On September 14, 1862, while exploring the Laguna Madre at Flour Bluff, Lieutenant Kittredge and seven men were captured by the Confederates. He was described as thirty-five years old, and "a small, light man, with a sallow complexion." Between October 1863 and August 1865 the Arthur served as a guard ship at Pensacola, Florida. It was sold at New York on September 27, 1865.

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, 1959. New York Times, December 13, 1861. Corpus Christi Caller Times, February 5, 1961.

Time Periods:
  • Civil War

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Martin Donell Kohout, “Arthur,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 20, 2022,

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November 1, 1994
March 9, 2016

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