• View from Battery DeGolyer


    National Military Park Mississippi


USS Cairo Paddlewheel

USS Cairo Paddlewheel

NPS Photo

USS Cairo's recessed paddlewheel is similar to the well-known stern wheel. It was placed within the raceway between the casemates to protect the wheel from enemy cannon fire. This paddlewheel propelled the gunboat at a speed of 6 knots (about 7 mph). The buckets, or paddles, were probably made of uniform-width wood and could easily be replaced when damaged.

Did You Know?

Thomas O. Selfridge

Thomas O. Selfridge, captain of the USS Cairo, commanded three boats which sank during the war. Each began with the letter "C"-Cumberland, Cairo, and Conestoga. The coincidence was noted after the Conestoga sank, and Selfridge was assigned to the USS Osage, which survived to the end of the war.