Sunken Steamboat in Bayou Teche

There sits a sunken steamboat below four feet of mud in Bayou Teche.

In Bayou Teche just north of Franklin, Louisiana sits a sunken steamboat from Civil War times. The ship is named CSS Tom Sugg or the USS Tensas. The ship was captured during the Civil War which is why it is given two names. This ship now lies under four feet of mud at the bottom of Bayou Teche.

The Tom Sugg was a side-wheeled steamboat built in 1860. The ship was given a side wheel gunboat and operated as a merchant vessel in Arkansas. Once the Civil War begun, the Tom Sugg was used to transport arms and horses for the confederate troops. In 1863 the Tom Sugg was captured by Union forces and used by the Union. The boat was then renamed to the USS Tensas for the United States Navy. Acting Master E. C. Van Pelt was in command of the Tensas until the ship was decommissioned in 1865. The steamboat was eventually sold in auction to E. B. Trinidad of New Iberia, Louisiana. The Tensas was renamed to the Teche but was not widely known by this name. The Teche was sold again to other owners before it eventually sunk in Irish Bend of Bayou Teche. Irish Bend is also the site of a Civil War Battle, but the Tensas was not a part of the battle. It now lies completely unseen under the waters and mud of Bayou Teche.



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