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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Pawnee (I)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal
Awards, Personnel Awards

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Medal of Honor (Benjamin Swearer, USN, 29 August 1861) - Purple Hearts (2 KIA, 29 August 1861 at Port Royal Sound )

Screw Sloop of War:
  • Laid down in 1858, at Philadelphia Navy Yard
  • Launched, 8 October 1859
  • Commissioned USS Pawnee, 11 June 1860, CDR. H. J. Hartstene in command
  • Initially assigned to the Home Squadron
  • Re-assigned to the Atlantic Blockade Squadron at Hampton Roads in August 1861
  • USS Pawnee operated with the South Atlantic Squadron from January 1863
  • Decommissioned, 26 July 1865, at Portsmouth, N.H.
  • Recommissioned, 2 January 1867, re-joining the South Atlantic Squadron at Rio de Janeiro
  • Decommissioned, 22 July 1869, at Portsmouth, N. H., machinery removed, fitted as a sailing ship
  • Converted to a hospital and stores ship at Norfolk, 6 December 1869
  • Recommissioned, 17 December 1870
  • Assigned as a hospital ship and receiving ship for the North Atlantic Station
  • Towed to Port Royal, S.C. in April 1875 for use as a storeship.
  • Decommissioned, 18 November 1882
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 3 May 1884
  • Final Disposition, sold to M. H. Gregory, of Great Neck, N.Y., fate unknown
    Displacement 1,533 t.
    Length 221' 6"
    Beam 47'
    Draft 10'
    Speed 10 kts
    Complement 181
    eight 9" guns
    two 12pdrs
    Propulsion steam and sail

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Cumberland 115k "Destruction of the United States Navy-Yard at Norfolk, Virginia, by Fire, by the United States Troops, on April 20, 1861" A line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1861, providing two scenes of the burning of Norfolk Navy Yard and the destruction of ships located there. Ships shown in the lower scene (as identified below the print), from left to right: USS United States (afire); tug Yankee with USS Cumberland (underway, leaving the area); USS Merrimack (afire in left center distance); USS Pawnee (underway, leaving the area), and USS Pennsylvania (afire).
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 59179
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Casco 203k The attack upon the batteries at the entrance of Aquia Creek, Potomac River, by the United States vessels USS Pawnee, USS Yankee, USS Thomas Freeborn, USS Anacostia, and USS Resolute, June 1st, 1861. On May 31st Captain Ward, in command on board of the Thomas Freeborn, and assisted by two more of his gunboats, the Resolute and the Anacostia, began the attack on the Confederate batteries, and after a two hours' fight, succeeded in silencing the batteries at the landing; but, for want of long-range ammunition, could not effectually respond to the heavy fire from the heights, and so had to withdraw. The following day, however, with additional aid from the Pawnee and Yankee, the attack was resumed, and the batteries were at last silenced and the Confederates compelled to retreat." Frank Leslie, 1896.
    US Navy photo # HN 73736 of an engraving from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, 1861.
    Tommy Trampp
    Narragansett 223k "The Great Expedition -- The Vessels at Anchor at Hampton Roads Previous to the Departure". Line engraving published in Harper's Weekly, July-December 1861 volume, page 725. It consists of two views of Flag Officer DuPont's squadron at Hampton Roads, VA., prior to leaving, 29 October 1861 to capture Port Royal, S.C. Ships and geographical features, as identified below the images, are (upper engraving, from left to right):
    ferry boats,
    store ship,
    steamer SS Marion,
    USS Seminole,
    steamer SS Ben Deford,
    tug Grapeshot,
    Fort Monroe,
    USS Narragansett,
    USS Alabama,
    USS Pawnee, and
    new ("90-Day") gunboats.

    (lower engraving, from left to right):
    store ship,
    SS Vanderbilt,
    steam tug (foreground),
    store ship,
    steamer Winfield Scott,
    steamer Atlantic,
    USS Minnesota,
    steamer SS Baltic,
    USS Relief,
    USS Wabash,
    USS R.B. Forbes,
    steamer SS Oriental,
    steamer SS Matanzas,
    steamer SS Philadelphia,
    and the Rip Raps.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo #: NH 59317
    Robert Hurst
    Minnesota 146k "Departure of the Great Southern Expedition, under General Butler, from Fortress Monroe". Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1861". depicting the departure of the fleet, 26 August 1861, en route to attack Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina. Ships identified in the title line are (left to right):
    USS Harriet Lane;
    USS Wabash;
    USS Minnesota;
    USS Monticello and
    USS Pawnee and
    Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # 58130
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    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
    Isaac Smith 78k "Army & Navy Reconnaissance. Tuesday Morning Nov. 5" 1861 Line engraving published in "The Soldier in Our Civil War", Volume I, page 189, depicting Federal ships investigating Port Royal Sound, South Carolina, prior to their successful attack on Confederate fortifications there. Ships and other items identified across the bottom of the print include (from left to right):
    USS Mercury, with Generals Sherman and Stevens & staff on board;
    USS Penguin, with Hilton Head Battery beyond;
    USS Pawnee; Broad River (in distance);
    CSS Huntress (distance);
    USS Seneca; Steamer Screamer (distance);
    USS Ottawa with Capt. Rogers & General Wright on board;
    Steamer Everglades (distance, beyond Ottawa;
    USS Pembina;
    CSS Lady Davis (distance); Beaufort River (distance); Bay Point Battery (distance); USS Curlew; (probably misidentified as no record exists that USS Curlew served with South Atlantic Blockading Squadron) Confederate camp (distance);
    USS Isaac Smith.
    US Navy photo # NH 59319
    Tommy Trampp
    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
    Wachusett 149k "Landing of General Potter's and Admiral Dahlgren's Troops at Bull's Bay, South Carolina". Line engraving, based on a sketch by John Everding, published in "Harper's Weekly", March 1865, depicting the landings made on 16-17 February 1865. Ships shown include (as identified below the print, from left to right:
    USS State of Georgia,
    USS Pawnee,
    USS Juniata,
    USS Harvest Moon--flagship,
    USS Wando,
    USS Winona,
    USS Shenandoah, and
    USS Canandaigua.
    US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Photo #: NH 59175
    Robert Hurst
    Pawnee 85k USS Pawnee at anchor off Charleston, South Carolina, circa 1864-1865. Her bow is fitted with what appears to be a spar torpedo.
    Artwork or heavily-retouched photo by the Photo Engraving Company, New York.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 45362-A.
    Robert Hurst
    Pawnee 118k View on deck of USS Pawnee looking aft from the forecastle, circa 1863-1864. An "Old Salt" is standing by the ship's 100-pounder Parrott rifle, with the starboard battery of nine-inch Dahlgren shell guns visible beyond. Note awnings spread overhead, and crewmen sitting on the deck amidships. Photo courtesy of "Civil War Times Illustrated" magazine.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 90536.
    Bill Gonyo
    Pawnee 138k View on deck of USS Pawnee looking forward from near the mizzen mast, while the ship was stationed in Charleston harbor, South Carolina, circa 1864-1865. Guns visible include an Army Model 1841 eight-inch siege howitzer (left foreground) and the ship's starboard battery of nine-inch Dahlgren shell guns. Note Sailors on deck and on watch (with telescope) on the bridge, gratings atop hatches, coiled lines, and mechanism for hoisting and lowering the smokestack. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 61926.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Pawnee 118k US Army 8-inch Siege Howitzer, Model of 1841 on the quarterdeck of USS Pawnee while she was off Charleston, South Carolina, circa 1864-1865. This howitzer is probably one of two captured by Pawnee and other ships at Legareville, S.C., on 25 December 1863. In 2003 both weapons were on display at the Washington Navy Yard, D.C. Note grating on deck in front of the howitzer and atop hatches, and belaying pins around Pawnee's mizzen mast.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 42867.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Pawnee 213k Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren, USN, Commanding the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron is standing beside a 50-pounder Dahlgren rifled gun on board USS Pawnee, in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, circa 1863-1865.
    Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress
    Bill Gonyo
    Pawnee 217k RADM. John A. Dahlgren poses with his staff aboard USS Pawnee, in Charleston Harbor, S.C. circa 1864-1865. From left to right:
    1.) Ensign. Ernest J. Dichman, aide
    2.) LCDR. Edmund Orville Matthews, Flag Lieutenant Commander
    3.) Fleet Paymaster James H. Watmough
    4.) Unknown
    5.) RADM. John A. Dahlgren
    6-9) Unknown
    Mathew Brady photograph No. B-64, courtesy of the Library of Congress
    Photo - Bill Gonyo
    Description - LCOL. Steve Glazer USA (Ret.)
    Pawnee 107k Halftone image of Benjamin Swearer, former Seaman, USN USS Pawnee published in "Deeds of Valor", Volume II, page 7, by the Perrien-Keydel Company, Detroit, 1907. Seaman Swearer was awarded the Medal of Honor for "gallant service" during the capture of Fort Clark, North Carolina, on 29 August 1861. He was a member of USS Pawnee's crew at that time.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 79903.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Pawnee 338k The hand carved gangway headboards from the steam sloop-of-war USS Pawnee. Named for the people of the Pawnee Nation, the ship was a pre-war shallow draft steamer built specifically for littoral duties. Heavily armed and well designed, she saw frequent service during the war on both the North Atlantic and South Atlantic Blockading Squadrons. Most notably, she rescued USS Cumberland from the Gosport Navy Yard at the beginning of the war and served in the Port Royal Expedition. After the war, she was based in Hampton Roads and served as a hospital ship. As the name suggests, gangway headboards would be found at the top of a ship's gangway, greeting the ship's company and visitors alike to the ship. Hand carved from a tropical hardwood such as teak or mahogany, the artist would typically create an image that was in line with the ship's name. In this case, the artist chose a Pawnee warrior on one side and his weapons on the other. Bill Gonyo

    USS Pawnee (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 1 December 2017