Six ships in the United States Navy have had the name USS Memphis. In 1858 and 1859 the first ship to be named the Memphis was used in river expedition to Paraguay to demand an apology for an unprovoked attack on another US ship.
The second USS Memphis, built in 1861, was a seven gun steamer used by the Confederate navy to run Union blockades. In 1862, the Union captured the ship and brought it into the service of the US navy. It was decommissioned in 1867.