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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Susquehanna (I)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Susquehanna-class Sidewheel Frigate:
  • Laid down in 1847 by the New York Navy Yard
  • Launched, 5 April 1850
  • Commissioned USS Susquehanna, 24 December 1850, CAPT. John H. Aulick in command
  • Assigned as flagship of the East India Squadron in 1851
  • Commodore Matthew Perry's flagship during his negotiations with Japan to open ports in that country
  • USS Susquehanna arrived at Philadelphia, 10 March 1855, decommissioned, 15 March 1855
  • Recommissioned, 5 May 1856, to join the Mediterranean Squadron in July.
  • Returned to Philadelphia and was laid up 18 April 1858
  • Reactivated at the New York Navy Yard, 17 August I860
  • Assigned to the Atlantic Blockading Squadron in 1861, at Hampton Roads
  • Susquehanna participated in the joint Army-Navy expedition to Hatteras Inlet, N.C.
  • In September 1861, USS Susquehanna captured two British schooners: Argonaut and Prince Alfred and took two Confederate schooners as well: San Juan and Baltimore
  • Susquehanna participated in Flag Officer Du Pont's expedition to South Carolina, capturing Port Royal Sound and Beaufort and established a blockade at the mouth of the Broad River
  • Operating primarily on blockade duty off Charleston Susquehanna took the British schooner Coquette on 3 April 1862
  • While at Hampton Roads she participated in the bombardment of Confederate batteries at Sewell's Point, Va., on 8 May. Three days later, CSS Virginia (I) (ex-USS Merrimack) was blown up by her crew, ending her threat to Union shipping in the Hampton Roads
  • Reassigned in May 1862 to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, while enroute to the Gulf she captured the Confederate schooner Princeton on 11 June, and with USS Kanawha seized British steamer Ann
  • Ordered to New York for repairs in the spring of 1863, while enroute north she captured schooner Alabama off the Florida coast
  • Decommissioned at the New York Navy Yard, 14 May 1863
  • Recommissioned, 20 July 1864, USS Susquehanna was assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron and participated in the attacks on Ft. Fisher, N.C., on Christmas Eve 1864 and in mid-February 1865
  • At the end of the Civil War, Susquehanna operated on the Atlantic coast of South America until returning home for decommissioning on 30 June 1866
  • Recommissioned, 2 November 1866, Susquehanna served as flagship of the North Atlantic Squadron and in the West Indies Squadron
  • While anchored in the harbor of St. Thomas, 18 November 1867, Susquehanna rode out the tsunami effects of a nearby magnitude 7.5 earthquake without damage
  • Decommissioned, 14 January 1868, at the New York Navy Yard
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping 27 September 1883, at New York to E. Stannard of New York City
    Displacement 2,450 t.
    Length 257'
    Beam 45'
    Draft 20' 6"
    Speed 8kts
    Complement unknown
    two 150-pdr Parrott rifles
    twelve 9" Dahlgren smooth bore guns
    one 12-pdr rifle
    Propulsion steam

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Susquehanna 159k The tobacco plug shown below was among the Japanese Emperors gifts to Commodore Perry. The "Lew Chew" was present along with a silk tobacco pouch and pipes. While some of the tobacco specimens were transferred to the Department of Agriculture, this one was labeled as "Specimen of Native Tobacco" and brought into the collection of the National Museum.
    As for the shoes, a handwritten note makes the not-impossible claim that they were the first purchase make by Americans in Japan. First purchase of a Japanese product. They were women's footwear made from paulownia wood, plaited rush, white leather and white tacks.
    The shoes may have been the first purchase, but the minogami (mulberry bark paper) fan marks the start of another trend-the Japanese fan as an American souvenir. Mounted on ten bamboo ribs and edged with gold in the upper margins, it bears the inscription of Perry's paymaster, Thomas C. Dudley which reads "My portrait twice as natural, done by a Japanese at Yokohama Jeddo (Edo) Bay, March 31, 1854. Undoubtedly this was a personnel gift to Dudley on the occasion of a first meeting.
    Finally, what more evocative example of Japanese art could an expedition acquire than a wood block print? This one bears a particularly exotic and fearsome countenance. Some martial deity, perhaps? In fact it is none other than Commodore Perry himself.
    Image courtesy United States Naval Institute.
    Tommy Trampp
    Saratoga 294k US Navy ships of the Japanese Squadron, established to promote free trade with Japan in 1852. From left to right:
    USS Susquehanna,
    USS Saratoga,
    USS St. Mary's,
    USS Supply,
    USS Plymouth,
    USS Perry,
    USS Mississippi and
    USS Princeton.
    From ~ The Archive of the Old Print Man ~ "Gleason's Pictorial Drawing Room Companion", Boston, 1852.
    Tommy Trampp
    Congress 78k Oil painting by Desimone of USS Congress (right) and USS Susquehanna (left distance) at Naples in 1857. Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 1310-KN (Color).
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    163k "Napha From the Sea" (Japan). Lithograph by J. Queen, after W. Heine and H. Walke, published by P.C. Duval and Company, circa the later 1850s. It shows ships of Commodore M.C. Perry's Squadron at Naha, Okinawa, circa 1853-1854. Steamers are (center)
    USS Mississippi and (right) either
    USS Powhatan or
    USS Susquehanna, circa later 1850s. Courtesy of and copied from the Collection of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, April 1936. This print was exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery in April 1963. Catalog #131.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 42760.
    Robert Hurst
    278k A Japanese print relating to Commodore Perry's visit. 1 January 1854. The paddlewheel steamer depicted would be either USS Mississippi (Commodore Perry's flagship), or USS Susquehanna - the only two paddlewheels on Perry's first visit to Japan.
    English Wikipedia
    Robert Hurst
    Congress 61k Oil painting by Desimone of USS Congress (right) and USS Susquehanna (left distance) at Naples about 1857. Collection of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 1230.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Congress 76k Oil painting probably by Desimone of USS Congress (right) and USS Susquehanna (left) at Naples about 1857. Note local rowing craft in the foreground.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 55327. Courtesy of Mr. K. Scofield, July 1939.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    214k A woodcut engraving of the Steam Frigate USS Susquehanna, 1858.
    From Harper's Magazine, N.Y. Independence Seaport Museum.
    Photo taken 26 February 2011 by ©Piotrus (real name unknown).
    Robert Hurst
    Susquehanna 438k A contemporary rendering of the sidewheel frigate USS Susquehanna in heavy seas. US Navy History and Heritage Command
    Naugatuck 130k Bombardment of Sewell's Point, Virginia, 8 May 1862.
    Print published in Fiveash, "Virginia-Monitor Engagement", Norfolk, Virginia, 1907. It depicts USS Monitor (at left) accompanied by the Federal war ships USS Naugatuck, USS Dacotah, USS Seminole and USS Susquehanna (listed in no particular order, and depicted rather inaccurately), firing on the Confederate batteries at Sewell's point, near Norfolk VA.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 58756.
    Robert Hurst
    Naugatuck 118k Published in Fiveash, "Virginia-Monitor Engagement, Norfolk, Virginia, 1907". It depicts CSS Virginia (at left) making her appearance near Craney Island as USS Monitor (left center) and other Federal warships withdraw after bombarding Sewell's Point, near Norfolk. The other U.S. Navy ships presented included USS Naugatuck, USS Dacotah, USS Seminole and USS Susquehanna.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 59213.
    Robert Hurst
    Cumberland 93k "Bombardment of Forts Hatteras & Clark, by the U.S. Fleet" "Under the command of Flag Officer Silas H. Stringham, on the 28th and 29th of August 1861" A colored lithograph by J.P. Newell after a drawing by Francis Garland, Seaman in USF Cumberland, published by J.H. Buford, Boston, Massachusetts, 1862. Features identified below the image are (from left to right):
    USS Susquehanna;
    tug Fanny;
    Fort Hatteras;
    USS Harriet Lane;
    Fort Clark;
    USS Cumberland;
    steamer Adelaide;
    USS Minnesota;
    steamer George Peabody;
    USS Wabash;
    USS Pawnee; and
    USS Monticello.
    Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # 66576-KN (Color)
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Minnesota 522k USS Minnesota (center), USS Susquehanna, USS Pawnee and other Union warships bombard Confederate forts during the Battle of Hatteras Inlet Batteries.
    Image from the book 'Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, p.667, being for the most part contributions by Union and Confederate officers, based upon the Century War Series, volume 1, by Robert Underwood Johnson and Clarence Clough Buel. Image courtesy of the British Library from its Digital Collection.
    Robert Hurst
    Susquehanna 201k USS Susquehanna with CAPT. James L. Lardner in command, participated in Flag Officer Du Pont's expedition to South Carolina, capturing Port Royal Sound and Beaufort in late fall of 1861. From various official reports it appears that during the three hours and forty five minutes the engagement lasted the Susquehanna fired from her fifteen guns four hundred and seventy-four 8-inch shell, about twenty solid 8-inch (64 pounds), and some grape and canister rounds for anti-personnel suppression. Bill Gonyo
    Issac Smith 75k "Bombardment and Capture of Port Royal, South Carolina, 7 November 1861" Engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1861 volume, pages 760-761. It depicts Federal warships, under Flag Officer Samuel F. DuPont, USN, bombarding Fort Beauregard (at right) and Fort Walker (at left). The Confederate squadron commanded by Commodore Josiah Tattnall is in the left center distance. Subjects identified below the image bottom are (from left): tug Mercury,
    Fort Walker,
    USS Wabash (DuPont's flagship),
    steamer Screamer (?),
    USS Susquehanna,
    CSS Huntsville, Commo. Tattnall, (probably misidentified as no record exists that CSS Huntsville served in the defenses of Port Royal, S.C.
    USS Bienville,
    USS Pembina,
    USS Seneca,
    USS Ottawa,
    USS Unadilla,
    USS Pawnee,
    USS Mohican,
    USS Isaac Smith,
    USS Curlew; (probably misidentified as no record exists that USS Curlew served with South Atlantic Blockading Squadron),
    USS Vandalia,
    USS Penguin,
    USS Pocahontas,
    USS Seminole,
    Fort Beauregard,
    USS R.B. Forbes
    and "Rebel Camp".
    US Navy photo # NH 59256
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Maumee 94k "Bombardment of Fort Fisher" "Jan. 15th 1865"
    Lithograph after a drawing by T.F. Laycock, published by Endicott & Co., New York, 1865, depicting the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron bombarding Fort Fisher, North Carolina, in preparation for its capture. The print is dedicated to Commodore S.W. Godon, USN. Ships present, as named on the original print, are (from left to right in the main battle line):
    USS Tacony;
    USS Maumee;
    USS Ticonderoga;
    USS Shenandoah;
    USS Tuscarora;
    USS Juniata;
    USS Wabash;
    USS Susquehanna;
    USS Colorado;
    USS Minnesotaa;
    USS Brooklyn;
    USS New Ironsides and
    USS Mohican.
    Ships in the foreground are (left to right, from the center of the view):
    USS Powhatan;
    USS Mackinaw;
    USS Vanderbilt and
    USS Malvern (Flagship of Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter).
    Monitors in the right middle distance are:
    USS Monadnock (with two turrets);
    USS Mahopac;
    USS Saugus and
    USS Canonicus.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # LC-USZ62-144 from the collections of the Library of Congress.
    Bill Gonyo
    Susquehanna 311k USS Susquehanna at anchor, circa 1860's, by Frederick Gutenkunst. Robert Hurst
    156k USS Susquehanna during or after the Civil War, circa 1861-1865, location unknown.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 48101.
    Robert Hurst
    236k USS Susquehanna at the New York Navy Yard, circa 1866-1868. Note Marine officer in foreground, and small barge alongside Susquehanna.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 86967. Courtesy of Martin Holbrook, 1977.
    Robert Hurst

    USS Susquehanna (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 22 October 2021