Time Period: Civil War through Reconstruction (1861 - 1874) - Starting with U

USS Tyler

The 180-foot-long A. O. Tyler, a Mississippi and Ohio river packet named for its original owner, was the largest of three side-wheeled steamboats purchased by the United States War Department for conversion into river gunboats at the beginning of the Civil War. Navy commander John Rodgers, the purchaser of the craft, felt it inappropriate to call the boat Tyler since former President James Tyler was a leading secessionist, preferring instead to refer to the boat as Taylor for unionist Zachary Taylor. However, the name Tyler remained official. During the first year and a half of the war, the gunboat was under U.S. Army control as part of the Western Gunboat Flotilla—yet was staffed by naval officers—to provide artillery support for General …