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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Wachusett (I)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons
Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right

Civil War Medal

Mohican-class Screw Sloop-of-War:
  • Laid down in June 1861 at Boston Navy Yard
  • Launched, 10 October 1861
  • Commissioned USS Wachusett, 3 March 1862, CDR. John S Missroon, USN in command
  • Assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, 10 March 1862
  • Designated flagship for the "Flying Squadron" in the West Indies, 8 September 1862
  • Decommissioned, 19 June 1863, at Philadelphia Navy Yard
  • Recommissioned, 28 January 1864, assigned to patrol to coast of Brazil
  • On 4 February, Wachusett sailed for the coast of Brazil to protect American commerce from the Confederacy's "piratical cruisers," particularly CSS Alabama and CSS Florida
  • Finally on 4 October CDR. Napoleon Collins of Wachusett sighted Florida, LT. Charles M. Morris, CSN, entering Bahia harbor, Brazil. Collins dared Morris to come out and fight, but Morris prudently declined. However, Collins was determined not to allow Florida to slip away. Early on the morning the 7th, Wachusett steamed past the Brazilian gunboat anchored between his ship and Florida, and rammed Florida. After a brief exchange of cannon fire, LT. Porter, commanding Florida in Morris's absence, surrendered the ship
  • Underway, 5 March 1865, to patrol the East Indies
  • Decommissioned, 4 February 1868, at New York Navy Yard
  • Recommissioned, 1 June 1871, for the Mediterranean until November 1873
  • Decommissioned, 29 December 1874, at Boston
  • Recommissioned, 26 May 1879, for an enlist cruise to New Orleans, CDR. Frederick Pearson, USN in command
  • Departed Boston, 2 October 1879 for the South Atlantic Station, until May 1880
  • Reassigned to the Pacific Station in 1880
  • Decommissioned in September 1885 at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA.
  • Struck for the Naval Register and sold to W.T. Garratt and Co., 30 July 1887
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Displacement 1.032 t.
    Length 201' 4"
    Beam 33' 11"
    Depth of Hold 16'
    Draft 14'
    Speed 11.5 kts
    Complement unknown
    two 11" Dahlgren smooth bores
    two 30-pdr Parrott rifles
    one 20-pdr Parrott rifle
    four 32pdrs
    one 12-pdr rifle
    Propulsion Steam and Sail
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Mahaska 81k "Rendezvous of Our Fleet in James River, off City Point, -- Drawn on the Spot, May 29, 1862" A line engraving, published in "Harper's Weekly", Volume of January-June 1862, page 390. depicting the U.S. Navy ships (listed as shown, from left to right) USS Maratanza (I), USS Wachusett (I), USS Aroostook (I), USS Monitor, USS Mahaska and USS Galena (I) operating on the James River in support of General McClellan's army.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59206
    Naval History and Heritage Command
    Wachusett 51k Artist's impression of USS Wachusett at anchor. her forward pivot gun is mounted on a platform which raises it above her spar deck bulwarks. Peabody Museum of Salem, Mass.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 68681
    Naval History and Heritage Command
    Wachusett 93k USS Wachusett at anchor in the harbor at Shanghai, China, circa 1867.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo
    Robert Hurst
    Wachusett 355k 19th Century phototype print by F. Gutekunst, Philadelphia. It depicts the capture of the Confederate raider CSS Florida by USS Wachusett at Bahia, Brazil, 7 October 1864.
    Enlarged version of US Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 59355
    Robert Hurst
    Wachusett 204k The captured confederate raider CSS Florida and USS Wachusett sailing north after leaving Bahia, Brazil in October 1864. From Harper's Weekly, 1 January 1865. Author unknown.
    Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
    Robert Hurst
    Wachusett 125k Lithograph published circa 1865, showing USS Wachusett in her original bark rig.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 78212, courtesy of Charles H. Bogart, 1973.
    Robert Hurst
    Wachusett 128k USS Wachusett drying sails at the Boston Navy Yard, with two small tugs docked beyond her bow. The original print bears the date 22 December 1874, seven days before she decommissioned at Boston. Plans in the National Archives indicate that Wachusett was altered to this configuration during her 1874-79 refit at Boston, and retained it until she was finally decommissioned in 1885.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 599381973.
    Robert Hurst
    Wachusett 103k USS Wachusett off Mare Island Navy Yard with the city of Vallejo in the distance, circa 1880-85. Wachusett decommissioned for the last time in September 1885, at Mare Island. Photograph from the William H. Topley Collection, Courtesy of Charles M. Loring, 1969.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo #: NH 68681.
    Robert Hurst
    Wachusett 115k A wash drawing by Clay Ray, circa 1898 of USS Wachusett at anchor. She is depicted with yards on her mizzen mast, the way she was rerigged some years after the Civil War.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 49155.
    Robert Hurst
    Wachusett 284k Post card image of USS Wachusett and USS Colorado, date and location unknown Tommy Trampp
    Wachusett 181k USS Wachusett's bell on display at Mare Island Navy Yard.
    Photo taken by Eugene Zelenko, 8 July 2011.
    Robert Hurst

    USS Wachusett (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Capture of CSS Florida by USS Wachusett, 7 October 1864 - Report of CDR. Napoleon Collins, USN, commanding USS Wachusett, of the seizure by that vessel of CSS Florida
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    Last Updated 13 September 2019