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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive

USS ROANOKE


Info courtesy of hazegray.org.
Roanoke Class Monitor: Displacement: 4,395 tons. Dimensions: 265 x 53 x 22 feet/80.77 x 16.15 x 6.7 meters. Propulsion: Penn trunk steam engines, 4 boilers, 440 hp, 1 shaft, 6 knots. Crew: 350. Armor: Iron: 3.5-4.5 inch sides, 1.5 inch deck, 11 inch turrets. Armament: Three dual turrets, as follows: Forward Turret: 1x15 inch Dahlgren smoothbore, 1x8 inch Parrot MLR. Center Turret: 1x15 inch Dahlgren smoothbore, 1x11 inch Dahlgren smoothbore. Aft turret: 1x11 inch Dahlgren smoothbore, 1x8 inch Parrot MLR.

Concept/Program: One of the largest monitors of the Civil War era, and the only one to mount three turrets. Was converted from the steam frigate Roanoke; prior to conversion the ship was sister to Merrimack (later CSS Virginia). Although not usually considered as a seagoing ship, she was intended as the first seagoing monitor in US service, but design flaws prevented her employment in this role. Was not a success.
Design: Was not an Ericsson design. The wooden frigate was razeed (cut down) and the remaining freeboard armored; three turrets were fitted. A fourth turret had been planned, but the weight could not be accommodated. Pilothouses were fitted on two turrets; there was a tall funnel, and possibly a hurricane deck, but no other superstructure. The armament was oddly distributed, but in total amounted to two each 15 inch Dahlgrens, 11 inch Dahlgrens, and 8 inch Parrots. The wooden hull was too weak for the weight of the armor and turrets, and the stern was damaged when the ship was re-launched. She had high freeboard (for a monitor), but rolled heavily and was generally unseaworthy & she was confined to harbor defense duties at Hampton Roads, and saw no action.

Operational: Roanoke was decommissioned on 20 June 1865 at New York Navy Yard. Retained in reserve, Roanoke's only postwar service was as flagship of the Port Admiral at New York. Roanoke was recommissioned on 13 January 1874 and remained in reduced commission until again placed in reserve on 12 June 1875.
Fate: Struck from the list on 5 August 1882, Roanoke was sold for scrapping on 27 September 1883 at Chester, Pa., to E. Stannard & Co., Westbrook, Conn.

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Size Image Description Contributed
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Roanoke 59k Roanoke depicted during her years as a steam frigate.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 45364 courtesy of Robert Hurst.
Roanoke 89k Lithograph depicting the Roanoke during the final stages of her conversion from a steam frigate to a triple-turret ironclad, at the Novelty Iron Works, New York City, circa the first half of 1863. The original drawing of the scene was done by G. Hayward for "Valentine's Manual", 1863. Note the large derrick at left, and the Novelty Works' building at right.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 50462.
U.S. Navy Warships, 1862. 724k Line engraving published in Harper's Weekly, 1862, depicting several contemporary U.S. Navy ironclad and conventional warships. They are (from left to right: Puritan (in the original twin-turret design); Catskill ; Montauk; Keokuk (citing her original name, "Woodna"); Passaic; Galena (behind Roanoke, with name not cited); Roanoke; Winona; New Ironsides; Naugatuck; Brooklyn and Monitor. Photo # NH 58752, now in the collections of the National Archives & National Museum of the U.S. Navy via flickr.com.
Photo added 06/21/16.
Roanoke 89k Sepia wash drawing by R.G. Skerrett, 1899, depicting the Roanoke underway after her conversion to an ironclad, circa 1863-65. Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 57813.
Roanoke 48k Watercolor by Oscar Parkes, depicting the Roanoke after she was converted to an ironclad, circa 1863-1865. Courtesy of Dr. Oscar Parkes, London, England, 1936.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 59548.
Roanoke 62k Lithograph published during the Civil War era, depicting the Roanoke after her conversion to an ironclad. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 42276.
Roanoke 65k Lithograph by Endicott and Company, New York, depicting the Roanoke after conversion to an ironclad, circa 1863.The lithograph is an example of the ship "portraits" published by Endicott & Co. which was noted for its excellent craftsmanship and scrupulous attention to detail. Partial text courtesy of"Monitors of the U.S. Navy, 1861-1937", pg 5, by Lt. Richard H. Webber, USNR-R. (LOC) Library of Congress, Catalog Card No. 77-603596.
Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 60891.
Roanoke 139k Civil War era lithograph, depicting the Roanoke after her conversion to an ironclad. Photo from National Archives & Record Administration (NARA), Record Group 19-N, Box 33. Courtesy of Dan Treadwell.
Text from U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 42277.
Roanoke 89k Engraving published in Harper's Weekly, 3 February 1866 as part of a larger print entitled The Iron-clad Navy of the United States. Originally built as a steam frigate, Roanoke was converted to a triple-turret ironclad in 1862-63.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 61426.
Roanoke 72k Roanoke at the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn New York, probably following her decommissioning in June 1865. The ship of the line in the left background is Vermont, which was receiving ship at the Navy Yard until September 1865. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 48105.
Roanoke 109k Deck and hold plans of the Roanoke, prepared at the New York Navy Yard in February 1874. Photo & text courtesy of"Monitors of the U.S. Navy, 1861-1937", pg 18, by Lt. Richard H. Webber, USNR-R. (LOC) Library of Congress, Catalog Card No. 77-603596.
(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 ROANOKE 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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