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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Portsmouth (II)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Sloop of War:
  • Laid down as a wooden sloop-of-war at Portsmouth N.H. Navy Yard
  • Launched, 23 October 1843
  • Commissioned, 10 November 1844, CDR. John B. Montgomery in command
  • Initially assigned to the Mexican coast in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Shifted to the Pacific coast in 1848
  • Returning to Boston in May 1848 departing there, 29 August 1848 for the African coast
  • Returning to Boston, 26 June 1851
  • Assigned to the Pacific in December 1851, returning to Norfolk, 5 April 1855, overhaul
  • Leaving Norfolk, 3 May 1856 for the Pacific
  • Ordered to Portsmouth, N. H., in January 1858
  • Reassigned to the Africa coast in 1859
  • Captured slaver Virginian off Congo River, 6 February 1860
  • Captured brig Falmouth off Porto Praya, 5 June 1860
  • Refitted at Portsmouth between September and December 1861
  • Assigned to the Gulf Blockading Squadron in December 1861
  • During the Civil War Portsmouth took as prizes, SS Labuan and SS Wave on 18 February 1862 and Pioneer on 20 February 1862
  • From 1866 to 1867 Portsmouth serviced as quarantine vessel at New York
  • Cruised off the coast of Brazil and Africa from 1869 to 1871
  • Carried relief personnel to Brazil in 1872
  • Participated in surveying assignments in the eastern Pacific, 1873 to 1874
  • Cruised off the west coast of Central and South American in 1875
  • Decommissioned as a cruiser, 14 July 1878, and designated as a training ship for boys
  • Sailed in March for France, returning in December to resume training duties with naval apprentices
  • Assigned as training ship for the New Jersey Naval Militia, 17 January 1895 to March 1911
  • Loaded to the Marine Hospital Service in Hampton Roads in March 1911
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 17 April 1915
  • Final Disposition, sold and towed to Governors Island, Boston Harbor and burned for parts, 6-7 September 1915
    Displacement 1,022 t.
    Length 153'
    Beam 38' 1"
    Depth 16' 9"
    Draft 16' 6"
    Speed unknown
    Complement 200
    September 61
    sixteen 8"/63 guns
    one 12-pdr
    July 1863
    sixteen 8"/63 guns
    two 8"/55 guns
    one 20-pdr rifle
    one 12-pdr
    June 1864
    one 100-pdr rifle
    Propulsion sail

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Portsmouth 85k Marine 2nd LT. Henry Bulls Watson's Marines of the USS Portsmouth proceeding ashore, 9 July 1846 to hoist the American flag at Yerba Buena, San Francisco. Ink drawing by Arman Manookian, Honolulu Academy of Arts, circa 1920s. Robert Hurst
    Portsmouth 153k Attack on the Barrier Forts (Second Opium War) near Canton, China, by the American squadron, 21 November 1856 - consisting of the U.S. sloops-of-war USS Portsmouth and USS Levant with the officers and crew of the steam frigate USS San Jacinto.
    Painting by A. Poinsett; Maker John Henry Bufford (18101870). Courtesy National Maritime Museum, London, England.
    Robert Hurst
    Marion 79k Lithograph after a drawing by Joseph L. Jones, circa 1877-1880 depicting a Naval Review in Hampton-Roads, VA. dedicated to Secretary of the Navy Richard W. Thompson. Ships present include (from left):
    USS Marion,
    USS Tallapoosa (flying the Secretary of the Navy's Flag),
    USS Constitution,
    USS Kearsarge,
    USS Saratoga,
    USS Powhatan,
    USS Portsmouth and
    USS Minnesota.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 61193. Courtesy of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936.
    Robert Hurst
    Portsmouth 48k USS Portsmouth anchored off New Orleans, Louisiana sometime between 1861 and 1865, as part of the Gulf Blockading Squadron.
    Library of Congress, Photo No. LC-USZ62-62357
    Mike Green
    Portsmouth 307k USS Portsmouth at Portsmouth Navy Yard sometime after the civil war.
    US Navy photo from "Warships of The Civil War Navies" by Paul H. Silverstone.
    Robert Hurst
    Portsmouth 65k USS Portsmouth at anchor, date and location unknown.
    Photo taken by J.N. Johnston, New York, courtesy Wikipedia.
    Robert Hurst
    Portsmouth 91k Sloop-of-War USS Portsmouth under full sail. Image is from the front cover on the book "Sheep Set" published by the U.S. Government Printing Office in 1897. Robert Hurst
    Portsmouth 139k Starboard view of USS Portsmouth fully rigged, at anchor in the Hudson River while taking part in the September, 1899 two day Dewey Celebration.
    Library of Congress photo # LC-D4-20888
    Mike Green
    Portsmouth 146k Starboard bow view of USS Portsmouth anchored in the Hudson River during 1909 Hudson-Fulton celebration.
    Library of Congress photo # LC-D4-22600
    Mike Green
    Portsmouth 107k Port bow view of USS Portsmouth anchored in the Hudson River during 1909 Hudson-Fulton celebration.
    Library of Congress photo # LC-D4-39216
    Mike Green
    Portsmouth 40k USS Portsmouth at anchor, date and location unknown. Tommy Trampp
    Portsmouth 141k Ex-USS Portsmouth was was struck from the Navy list, 17 April 1915, and sold. Her hulk was taken to Governors Island, Boston Harbor and burned on the night of September 67, 1915, the culmination of a South Boston carnival. The event was well attended by politicians and others, and a fire boat siren shrieked a salute as flames poured out of her empty gun ports.
    Source: Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.
    Mike Green

    USS Portsmouth (II)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 15 March 2019