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Off Mississippi, a U.S. Navy steamer collides with a French warship sent to evacuate citizens from New Orleans

U.S.S. De Soto, circa 1868
At 2 a.m., the U.S.S. De Soto, sent to investigate a strange vessel off the Mississippi Delta, collided with the French warship H.I.M.S. Milan.  Both side-paddle steamers were damaged and the De Soto towed the Milan into Ship Island, Mississippi for repairs.  The French ship had State Department permission to visit New Orleans and arrange evacuation of French citizens and the mishap caused diplomatic embarrassment. (By John Osborne) 
Source Citation: 
United States, et al, Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series 1 (Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1903), 17:23.