Since its original printing in 1952, the publication of the Handbook of Texas has been made possible through the support of its users. As an independent nonprofit, TSHA relies on your contributions to close the funding gap for the online Handbook and keep it a freely accessible resource for users worldwide. Please make a donation today to preserve the most comprehensive encyclopedic resource on Texas history. Donate Today »


Martin Donell Kohout
Painting, Battle of Corpus Christi by Thomas Noakes
Painting, Battle of Corpus Christi by Thomas Noakes. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Battle of Corpus Christi Map
Battle of Corpus Christi Map. Courtesy of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

ARTHUR. In the Union blockade of Texas seaports during the Civil War the USS Arthur captured five Confederate vessels and was one of three federal boats to attack Corpus Christi in August 1862. The bark was a three-masted sailing ship built in Amesburg, Massachusetts, in 1855 and commissioned on December 11, 1861, with acting volunteer lieutenant J. W. Kittredge in command. The officers included W.C. Smidt as Executive Officer, E.T Jones and W.H. Merrithew as Acting Masters, O.D. Root as Master Surgeon, Marcus B. Osborn as Assistant Paymaster, and William Barker, John L. Constrat, and T.N. Meyer as Master's Mates. The Arthur set sail from New York in January 1862, joined the Gulf blockading squadron off the Texas coast, and cruised between Aransas Pass and Cavallo Pass until August of that year. On August 18 the Arthur joined the Sachem and the Corypheus in an attack on Corpus Christi in which three Confederate vessels were burned. On September 14, 1862, while exploring the Laguna Madre at Flour Bluff, Lieutenant Kittredge and seven men were captured by the Confederates. He was described as thirty-five years old, and "a small, light man, with a sallow complexion." Between October 1863 and August 1865 the Arthur served as a guard ship at Pensacola, Florida. It was sold at New York on September 27, 1865.


Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, 1959. New York Times, December 13, 1861. Corpus Christi Caller Times, February 5, 1961.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Martin Donell Kohout, "ARTHUR," accessed August 21, 2019,

Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Modified on March 15, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox