The Arkansas in the Civil War Message Board

Historical marker for capture site of USS Petrel..

The Mississippi Department of Archives & History has recently approved a state historical marker to commemorate the capture of the Federal tinclad USS Petrel by Confederate cavalry led by Colonel John Griffith on April 22, 1864.

Although several clashes between Confederate cavalry and Federal gunboats have been well documented in the O.R. and elsewhere, the actual capture of the tinclad USS Petrel is apparently unique.

The following URLs provide details re the capture of the Petrel by Colonel Griffith and his men (members of the 11th & 17th Arkansas Infantry and Woods' Mississippi Cavalry) on April 22, 1864:

Please be advised that the portrait of "Colonel John Griffith" shown in the last URL is NOT that of John Griffith, but rather CSA General James DeBerty Trudeau. With the help of Bruce Allardice and Mike Gerow, I have been trying to get Morningside to correct the image for several years now...[sigh]

The cost of the MDAH historical marker will be ~$1,600. Donations are being made by private individuals in Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, and elsewhere.

At this time any contributions for the Petrel capture site marker can be sent to:

USS Petrel marker fund
c/o Frederica Wyatt
P.O. Box 271
Junction, TX 76849

There in Junction, local historians and members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Confederate Order of the Rose are actively collecting donations (Colonel Griffith is buried near Junction, TX).

At this time, the time/date of the actual placement and dedication are unknown. More details will be made known as they become available.

Any and all interest and help is VERY welcome indeed! Such assistance and support will ensure the marker's placement in a timely manner and also help to preserve the site from any possible future development.

Please contact me if I can provide additional details, answer questions, etc.


Kenneth Byrd