The Dr. Beatty

Confederate States of America's ship, the "Dr. Beatty"

Many thanks to SUSAN MOUGALIAN,Lineage 127, for sending her research information on the Confederate States of America's ship, the "Dr. Beatty". The boat was instrumental in defeating the Yankee ironclad "USS Indianola" near New Carthage, MS on 24 February 1863, which helped the Confederates, temporarily, to control the Missisippi.

Information researched by Susan Mougalian:

1. 5 OCT 98 letter to Susan Mougalian from Cody Westmoreland, Ranger, Office of State Parks, Dept. of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, Zachary, LA.

"The Dr. Beatty was used during the Civil War in the area around Port Hudson, La., patrolling the Mississippi River. It is of special interest to the staff here at Port Hudson State Commemorative Area because of its role in the siege..."

2. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships: Volume II, 1963. Navy Department Washington, D.C.

page 516

"Dr. Beatty (SwStr: t.281; l.171'; b.28'9''; dph 6'; a. 1 20-pdr.) Dr. Beatty, spelled variously as Doctor Beaty, Doctor Batey, and Dr. Battie, was built at Louisville, Ky., in 1850. She was described as a frail steamer by the Confederates who had outfitted her with 900 bales of cotton for use as a trasport and boarding ship. Dr. Beatty was a unit of the expeditionary force that included the rams Queen of the West and Webb, and the steamer Grand Era which attacked USS Indianola near New Carthage, Miss., on 24 February 1863. During the engagement this steamer, commanded by Lt. Col. F. Brand, CSA, and carrying a volunteer boarding party of 250 men closed Indianola only to receive word of her sinking condition and surrender. During July 1863 Dr. Beatty escaped capture by USS Manitou and Petrel by running under the guns of the fort at Harrisonburg in the Ouachita River."

3. Edward Cunningham, The Port Hudson Campaign 1863-1863. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press (no date).

p. 18 "At Fort DeRussy, Major Joseph L. Brent collected a force to attack the Indianola, consisting of the captured Queen of the West, the little steamer, Webb, and the tender Era No. V. Bren'ts squadron entered the Mississippi River on February 22. There it was joined by the Dr. Beatty, an old cattle boat armed with a 20-pound Parrott and carrying two hundred volunteers from the Port Hudson garrison. (footnote - The Dr. Beatty's 20 pound Parrott was commanded by Capt. R. M. Boone, supposedly a descendant of Daniel Boone.) Brent's squadron caught up with the Indianola near New Carthage, Louisiana, on the night of February 24 and captured her after a lengthy and desperate battle. The men on the Dr. Beatty assisted in the capture by raking the Union ship with blasts of rifle fire and finally boarded her to accept the captain's surrender. The sailors from the two captured Union ships were taken to Vicksburg, but were removed to Richmond when the siege began. By capturing the Queen of the West and the Indianola, the Confedertes regained control of the Red River and that part of the Mississippi between Vicksburg and Port Hudson."

4. Lawrence Lee Hewitt, Port Hudson: Confederate Bastion on the Mississippi. Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, (no date).

p. 54 General Beall, CSA, was commander of the 5500 troops at Port Hudson when the Dr. Beatty was outfitted for naval action. 

"At least three thousand soldiers assembled on the bank to witness the departure of the Dr. Beatty on February 19. One private recalled that 'the deafening acclamations of those and those on board marked this as one of the most memorable incidents of Port Hudson.'.."

p. 55
"The Webb and Queen of the West rammed the Indianola until they disabled her. Brand then ran the Dr. Beatty alongside the sinking vessel and shouted 'Board her, boys! board her!' At that moment the Indianola's commander cried, 'For god's sake don't shoot any more! I've surrendered!' Brand jumped aboard, claimed his opponent's sword, and had the Indianola towed downstream until she finally sank in ten feet of water. The crew of the Dr. Beatty escaped without a single injury and returned to Port Hudson on the twenty-sixth."

Susan's (3 Nov 98) comments in response to Ray Beaty's inquiry of the relationship of the "Dr. Beatty" to Lineage 127:

In a letter from Frank Beatty to Jessie Whitaker Arpe, (my grandmother) (they were cousins and grandchildren of Daniel Beatty), Frank referred to the Dr. Beatty as a smuggling ship for the South during the Civil War, and said that in his files somewhere was an article in the Times Picayune about the vessel. So I wrote to the Times Picayune and got the response that you see. Other tidbits about Daniel Beatty that surfaced in that letter and other places: he worked for the railroads and moved all about the country; he and his family removed themselves from New Orleans just ahead of the Yankees. They went by boat to New York state first. He and his family ended up in Pueblo, Colorado. There is a scrapbook with several newspaper articles about the Beatty's in Pueblo and one of the daughter's (Martha) subsequent marriage to Oliver Mallaby, but none of the articles includes either the date or the name of the newspaper. Martha was the first family member of the DAR and a charter member of the Pueblo chapter of the DAR. 

The connection between the boat and the man is tenuous. If the boat was named the Dr. Beatty when it was built in the early 1850's, then it is probably not named after "my" Daniel Beatty. If it was renamed later, it might be. This is my next quest in this direction. I also need to write to Tulane University to see whether Daniel Beatty went to medical school there or dental school there or somehow determine the origin of "Dr.". There is a tradition in the family that he went to Tulane, but since his son and grandson went there, things might have gotten confused and the references were to children. Susan M.

Last update: July 07, 1999