USS Prairie Bird

The USS Prairie Bird was a "tinclad" wooden steamer purchased as Mary Miller at Cincinnati, Ohio, in December 1862 by the US Navy. She was fitted out at Cairo, Illinois, renamed USS Prairie Bird and commissioned in January 1863, AShe served the Union navy fleet as a gunboat during operations on the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

One one local sailor is known to have served aboard the USS Prairie Bird. Jerry Johnson was born in Franklin, Tennessee about 1827. He enlisted on February 22, 1864, aboard the USS Prairie Bird at French Bend, Missippi. He was discharged April 1, 1865.

USS Prairie Bird (1863-1865), a "tinclad" gunboat. Photographed off Vicksburg, Mississippi, circa 1864-65. Note: identification number "11" painted on Prairie Bird's pilothouse; Vicksburg courthouse on the hilltop in left center. (Photo #: NH 42359)