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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Galena (I)


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Ironclad Screw Steamer:
  • Laid down, date unknown at C.S. and H.L. Bushnell, Mystic, CT.
  • Launched, 14 February 1862
  • Commissioned USS Galena, 21 April 1862, CDR. Alfred Taylor in command
  • Galena, one of the first three ironclads, each of a different design, built by the Union Navy during the Civil War
  • Towed from New York to arrive off Fortress Monroe, VA., 24 April, she joined Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough's North Atlantic Blockading Squadron
  • Galena operated on the James River providing protection to the daily movement of Army transports and supply ships and attempted to reach Richmond and compel its surrender
  • Detached from James River Flotilla to do picket duty in Hampton Roads from September 1862 to May 1863
  • USS Galena arrived at Philadelphia and was decommissioned for repairs, 21 May 1863, during overhaul she was stripped of her iron plating allowing her to operate as a wooden-hulled ship
  • Recommissioned, 15 February 1864, for duty in the Gulf of Mexico, after a series of mishaps she finally joining the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, 20 May 1865, from duty at Mobile, AL.
  • USS Galena was a unit of Admiral Farragut's fleet in the Battle of Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864
  • Returned to Philadelphia, 22 November 1864, for decommissioning and repairs
  • Recommissioned, 29 March 1865, for duty with the North Atlantic Squadron
  • Decommissioned, 17 June 1865, at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Portsmouth, N.H.
  • Recommissioned, 9 April 1869, for movement to Hampton Roads
  • Decommissioned, 2 June 1869
  • Condemned by a board of survey in 1879, Galena was broken up in 1872 at the Norfolk Navy Yard
    Specifications:
    Displacement 730 t.
    Length 210'
    Beam 36'
    Depth 12' 8"
    Draft 11'
    Speed 8kts
    Complement 164 Armament (1862)
    four 9" Dahlgren smooth bore guns
    two 100-pdrs
    Propulsion steam and sail

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    Size Image Description Contributed
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    Galena 156k Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1861, page 669, while USS Galena was under construction at Mystic, CT. Details of this depiction are inaccurate, especially the elongated gun ports shown fore and aft of the smokestack.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # 59305
    Robert Hurst
    Galena 105k Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1861, page 670, depicting USS Galena's hull section amidships. She was then under construction at Mystic, Connecticut.
    US Navy History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59306.
    Robert Hurst
    Galena 66k Line engraving, published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting USS Galena's midship's hull section, the arrangement of her horizontally-laid interlocking side armor, and one of her armored gun ports.
    US Navy History and Heritage Command photo # NH 58862.
    Robert Hurst
    Galena 132k Line engraving, published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting USS Galena as she appeared when first completed, with a two-masted schooner rig.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 58863
    Robert Hurst
    Galena 127k Line engraving, published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting USS Galena's gun deck as it appeared when she was first completed.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 58864
    Robert Hurst
    Galena 143k View of the Attack on Fort Darling, in the James River, by Commander Rogers's Gun-Boat Flotilla, 'Galena', 'Monitor', etc.
    Line engraving published in Harper's Weekly, January-June 1862, page 337, depicting USS Galena at the head of the attacking force with USS Monitor off her starboard quarter. Among the other ships, the gunboat USS Naugatuck is identifiable in the lower right. The city of Richmond, Virginia, is shown in the left center distance.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59336
    Robert Hurst
    Port Royal 135k Contemporary pencil sketch, with colors of flags and smoke lightly worked in, depicting the Union ships; USS Galena, USS Monitor, USS Aroostook, USS Port Royal and USS Naugatuck (listed as shown, left to right) bombarding the Confederate Fort Darling at Drewry's Bluff, VA., 15 May 1862. US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 82580-KN (Color). Tommy Trampp
    Port Royal 156k Contemporary pencil sketch by F.H. Wilcke, depicting the Union ships; USS Galena, USS Monitor, USS Aroostook, USS Port Royal and USS Naugatuck (listed as shown, left to right) under the command of Commander John Rodgers bombarding the Confederate Fort Darling at Drewry's Bluff, VA., 15 May 1862. US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 1998. Tommy Trampp
    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
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Galena 94k "Bombardment of Fort Darling, Drewry's Bluff, Virginia, 15 May 1862".
    Artwork published in "Deeds of Valor", Volume II, page 27, by the Perrien-Keydel Company, Detroit, 1907, depicting USS Galena in action against the Confederate batteries at Drewry's Bluff.
    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 79910
    Robert Hurst
    Mahaska 104k "The Gun-boats 'Galena' and 'Mahaska' shelling the Rebels at Harrison's Landing, July 1, 1862" A line engraving, based on a sketch "by an officer of the Navy", published in "Harper's Weekly", Volume 6, July-December 1862, page 470. USS Galenais at left and USS Mahaska is at right.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59198
    Robert Hurst
    Galena 143k Wood-cut engraving/print titled "Balloon View of the Attack on Fort Darling, in the James River, by Commander Rodgers's Gun-Boat Flotilla, USS Galena], [USS Monitor], etc." published in "Harper's Weekly" May 1862. Tommy Trampp
    Galena 70k Wash drawing by R.G. Skerrett, 1898, depicting USS Galena as she appeared while serving on the James River, circa mid-1862.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # 57820
    Robert Hurst
    Galena 58k Watercolor by Oscar Parkes, depicting USS Galena as she appeared in mid-1862, while serving on the James River.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # 59541. Courtesy of Dr. Oscar Parkes, 1936.
    Robert Hurst
    Galena 60k Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting several contemporary U.S. Navy ironclad and conventional warships. They are (from left to right: USS Puritan (in the original twin-turret design); USS Catskill; USS Montauk, USS Keokuk (citing her original name, "Moodna"); USS Passaic; USS Galena (behind Roanoke, with name not cited); USS Roanoke; USS Winona; USS New Ironsides; USS Naugatuck; USS Brooklyn and USS Monitor.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # 59541. Courtesy of Dr. Oscar Parkes, 1936.
    Robert Hurst
    Galena 308k USS Galena, looking forward along the ship's port side, shortly after her 15 May 1862 action with Confederate batteries at Drewry's Bluff, on the James River Among the items visible are the muzzles of two of Galena's IX-inch Dahlgren smoothbore guns; her unique horizontally-laid interlocking iron side armor; armored gunport shutters; boat davits; members of her crew; and at least one plugged hole from enemy shot (near the waterline in bottom left center). Robert Hurst
    Galena 111k A Matthew Brady photograph taken aboard USS Galena shortly after the 15 May 1862 action with Confederate batteries at Drewry's Bluff, This view looks forward on the starboard side of the spar deck, and shows holes in Galena's smokestack (in left center) made by Confederate cannon fire. Among the other items seen are boat davits, canvas wind sails, the elevated wooden conning platform and the lookout position on the foremast.
    Library of Congress photo # LC-B8171-652 from the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command.
    Robert Hurst
    Galena 65k The Iron-clad Ram USS Galena at anchor, date and location unknown. Ron Reeves
    Itasca 179k USS Brooklyn inside Mobile Bay after the action, "from a sketch made at the time", showing some of her battle damage. USS Galena is in the left background, and USS Itasca is at right. 19th Century reproduction of a pen and ink drawing by Xanthus Smith. US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 56579
    Galena 120k John F. Mackie, former Corporal, USMC. Halftone image published in "Deeds of Valor", Volume II, page 25, by the Perrien-Keydel Company, Detroit, 1907. Corporal Mackie was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in action on board USS Galena during her engagement with Confederate batteries at Drewry's Bluff, James River, VA., 15 May 1862. This view shows him in what appears to be a Grand Army of the Republic Uniform, circa 1900.
    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 79909
    Robert Hurst

    USS Galena (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Taylor, Alfred16 April 1862 - 24 April 1862
    02CDR. Rodgers, John24 April 1862 - 15 November 1862
    03LCDR. Paulding, Leonard15 November 1862 - 21 May 1863
     Decommissioned21 May 1863 - 15 February 1864
    04LCDR. Wells, Clark H.15 February 1864 - 2 June 1865
    Courtesy Bill Gonyo

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    Last Updated 24 March 2017