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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive

USS DICTATOR


Info courtesy of hazegray.org.
Dictator Class Monitor: Displacement: 4,438 tons. Dimensions: 312 x 50 x 20.5 feet/95.1 x 15.24 x 6.25 meters. Propulsion: Ericsson VL engines, 6 boilers, 1 shaft, 3,500 ihp, 11 knots. Crew: 175. Armor: Iron: 1-6 inch sides, 2 inch deck, 15 inch turret. Armament: 1 dual turret with 2x15 inch Dahlgren smooth-bore.

Concept/Program: The first purpose-built US monitor intended to be truly seagoing; was designed as a "seagoing high speed monitor". Although her speed and seaworthiness were an improvement over previous ships, the design had problems, and she left much to be desired.
Design: A single-turret Ericsson design, generally increased in size over the coastal ships, with the lines of the raft improved, and with less overhang. There was a tall funnel and tall ventilation shaft; there probably was a light hurricane deck amidships. Design speed was 15 knots, but this was not reached. The design was overweight, reducing free-board to 16 inches. The main shaft bearings were too short, resulting in excessive wear.

Operational: Contracted to John Ericsson, construction subcontracted to Delameter Iron Works, New York. Laid down 16 June 1862, launched 2 December 1863, commissioned 11 November 1864. Was sent to participate in the assault on Fort Fisher, but had to return to port due to excessive wear on the shaft bearings. Decommissioned to reserve 5 September 1865, was recommissioned 20 July 1869. Dictator served with the North Atlantic Fleet until 28 June 1871 when she was again placed out of commission. She was in ordinary at New York Navy Yard until 12 January 1874 when she was commissioned for service on the North Atlantic Station.
Fate: Dictator was decommissioned at League Island 1 June 1877 and remained there until sold 27 September 1883.
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Dictator 42k The Monitor Dictator on the ways at Delameter Iron Works, New York, N.Y. - From the advanced stage of completion and the overcoats on the figures in the foreground, it seems likely that the photo was taken in the winter of 1863, shortly prior to her launching on 26 December 1863. Note the minimal overhang of the armored "raft" and the large screw, 21 feet, 6 inches, in diameter. Photo & text courtesy of"Monitors of the U.S. Navy, 1861-1937", pg 22, by Lt. Richard H. Webber, USNR-R. (LOC) Library of Congress, Catalog Card No. 77-603596. Photo i.d. courtesy of J. F. Benedetto.
Dictator 756k The Monitor Dictator which appeared on p. 650 of the January 1887 book Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, being for the most part contributions by Union and Confederate officers, based upon "the Century War Series"', volume 1, by Robert Underwood Johnson and Clarence Clough Buel. Courtesy of the British Library from its digital collections. Photo & text courtesy of Robert Hurst.
Photo added 05/19/17.
Dictator 84k Bow view of the Monitor Dictator under construction at Delameter Iron Works, New York, N.Y. Probably one of three photos John Ericksson ordered taken.
From the collections of the New York Historical Society. Photo & text courtesy of"Monitors of the U.S. Navy, 1861-1937", pg 15, by Lt. Richard H. Webber, USNR-R. (LOC) Library of Congress, Catalog Card No. 77-603596. Photo i.d. courtesy of J F Benedetto.
Dictator 48k Line engraving of the Dictator, published in Harper's Weekly Journal of Civilization, VOL. IX.óNo. 422, N.Y. Saturday, January 28, 1865. Photo courtesy of sonofthesouth.net.
Dictator 113k Engraved plan of the Dictator's transverse section amidships, through the center of her gun turret. Published in "The Artizan", 1 October 1867. Note the XV" Dahlgren smooth-bore gun in the turret, turret training gears, and the laminated iron armor on Dictator's hull, turret and conning tower. Courtesy of the Navy Department Library, 1990.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 96670.
Dictator 51k Watercolor of the Dictator, by Oscar Parkes. Courtesy of Dr. Oscar Parkes, London, England, 1936.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 59549.
Dictator 60k Lithograph depicting the Dictator at sea, published circa 1865. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 54512.
Dictator 62k Line engraving of the Dictator, published in "The Soldier in Our Civil War", Volume II, page 226. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 58719.
Dictator 71k Engraving of the Dictator, published in "Harper's Weekly", 3 February 1866 as part of a larger print entitled "The Iron-clad Navy of the United States. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 61411.
Bunce 86k Lieut. Commander Francis Marvin Bunce was the Commanding Officer of the monitor Dictator from April 1869 to October 4, 1869 overseeing her refit for sea service in preparation for reassignment to the North Atlantic Fleet. Photo from the book "Register of the Military Order of the Foreign Wars of the United States (1902)", courtesy of Bill Gonyo.
Dictator 100k View on deck looking aft on the starboard side, while the Dictator was off an east coast Navy yard, circa the 1870s. Note the elevated wooden wheelhouse atop the turret. The original photograph is the right side of a stereographic pair published by the Littleton View Company, Littleton, New Hampshire, under the title "Man of War". This view was taken at the same time as Photo # NH 93871, from the opposite end of the ship. Some of the same people are visible in both photographs. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 73617.
Dictator 120k View on deck, looking forward on the starboard side, while the Dictator was off an east coast Navy yard, circa the 1870s. Note the lightweight "flying deck" and bridge wings, wooden pilothouse mounted atop the gun turret, muzzle of a XV-inch Dahlgren gun visible in the turret gun-port, davits, stanchions, and wooden boxes on deck. The original photograph is the left side of a stereographic pair published by G.W. Woodward, Rochester, New York. Courtesy of Paul H. Silverstone, 1982.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 93871.
Dictator 53k New London Naval Station, Groton, Connecticut("Thames Navy Yard"). Nevada (ex-Neshaminy) laid up at the station pier, circa 1871-1873, with Dictator "in ordinary" at the right. The original photograph was published as a stereographic pair by E. Ayer, Norwich, Connecticut. Courtesy of the Submarine Force Library and Museum, Groton, CT., 1990.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 102414.
(NISMF)376kA guest studies a painting depicting the history of battleships. The artwork was painted by George Skybeck and presented to the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association during their annual banquet at Honolulu, Hawaii, on 8 December 1991. USN photo # DN-SC-92-05391, by PHC Carolyn Harris, from the Department of Defense Still Media Collection, courtesy of dodmedia.osd.mil.

USS DICTATOR History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The Hazegray & Underway Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Crew Contact And Reunion Information Not Applicable To This Ship
Additional Resources
Hazegray & Underway Battleship Pages By Andrew Toppan.
Monitor National Marine Santuary, NOAA.
Tour the Wreck of the Monitor.

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