June 27, 1863
The USS Arkansas was acquired by Commodore Cornelius Kinchiloe Stribling for the U.S. Navy for $98,000. Constructed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1863 as a commercial barkentine-rigged, wooden-hulled, screw steamer originally named Tonawanda, this vessel measured 191 feet in length and thirty feet at the beam. It weighed 752 tons and drafted nineteen feet of water. It carried a crew of eighty-eight enlisted sailors and officers.