A photographic mural depicting the only known photograph of the USS Cairo at her commissioning, is located at the museum entrance.
Left: Admiral David Dixon Porter, Commander of the Mississippi Squadron. Porter refused to hold a court of inquiry on the sinking of the USS Cairo. With experienced officers in demand, he immediately reassigned Lt. Commander Selfridge to command of the USS Conestoga.
Center: Lieutenant Commander Thomas O. Selfridge. Selfridge was commander of the USS Cairo when the vessel was sunk by a Confederate torpedo (underwater mine).
Right: Flag-Officer Andrew H. Foote. Foote commanded the Western Flotilla when the USS Cairo was commissioned.
The USS Cairo and her six identical sister vessels were built for the purpose of regaining control of the Mississippi River from the Confederacy. These City Class gunboats were all named for cities along the upper Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.
A model of the USS Cairo. A portion of the port (left) side has been cut away providing a view of the gun deck.