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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

US Frigate Potomac (I)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Raritan Class Frigate:
  • Laid down in August 1819 at Washington Navy Yard
  • Launched in March 1822
  • Commissioned USS Potomac in 1831, CAPT. John Downes, in command
  • USF Potomac departed New York, 19 August 1831 from the Pacific station (she shelled the town of Quallah Batoo, Sumatra in punishment for the capture of merchantman Friendship of Salem, MA. and the massacre of her crew in February 1831) Potomac returning to Boston, 23 May 1834
  • USF Potomac next served on the Brazil station from 20 October 1834 to 5 March 1837 and 12 May 1840 to 31 July 1842
  • Her next assignment found her patrolling the West Indies from 8 December 1844 to 4 December 1845, and again from 14 March 1846 to 20 July 1847, landing troops at Port Isabel, TX., 8 May 1846, in support of General Taylorís army at the battle of Palo Alto
  • USF Potomac was also present at the siege of Vera Cruz, 9 to 28 March 1847
  • Potomac served as flagship for the Home Squadron from 1856 to 1857
  • At the outbreak of the Civil War Potomac departed New York 10 September 1861 for the West Gulf Blockade Squadron off Vera Cruz - She became the stores ship for the squadron and remained at Pensacola Navy Yard as a receiving ship until 1867
  • Decommissioned, 13 January 1877, at League Island Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Final Disposition, sold to E. Stannard & Co. 24 May 1877, fate unknown
    Displacement 1,726 t.
    Length 177' 10"
    Beam 45' 2"
    Draft 20' 6"
    Speed unknown
    Complement 480
    eight 8" guns
    forty-two 32-pdrs
    Propulsion sail

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Potomac 78k USF Potomac in Valparaiso Harbor, 1834. Artist unknown. Robert Hurst
    Montgomery (III) 158k Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1861, pages 456-457, depicting a large number of Navy ships off the New York Navy Yard, early in the Civil War. Vessels shown include (from left to right): USS Montgomery;
    USS Vandalia;
    USS Brandywine;
    USS North Carolina;
    USF Potomac;
    USS Savannah;
    USS R.R. Cuyler;
    USS Mount Vernon;
    USS Roanoke;
    USS Resolute
    and USS Wabash. A rowing launch is underway in the foreground.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59308
    Bill Gonyo

    USF Potomac (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 5 October 2012