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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

CSS Fanny
Fanny (1861)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Screw Steamer:
  • Built date and location unknown
  • Launched, date unknown
  • United States Army steamer Fanny was captured by the Confederates in Loggerhead Inlet, N.C., 1 October 1861
  • Taken into the Confederate Navy, commissioned CSS Fanny, Midshipman J. L. Tayloe, CSN in command
  • CSS Fanny participated in the battles of Roanoke Island, 7-8 February 1862, and Elizabeth City, N.C.
  • Final Disposition, run aground, 10 February 1862, and blown up by her captain who escaped with his crew to shore
    "Civil War Naval Chronology 1861-1865," Naval History Division, 1966:

    3 August 1861 -- John La Mountain made first ascent in a balloon from Union ship Fanny at Hampton Roads to observe Confederate batteries on [Sewalls] Point, Virginia—a small beginning for the potent aircraft carrier in the tri-dimensional Navy of the twentieth century.

    26 August 1861 -- Squadron under Flag Officer Stringham, USS Minnesota, USS Monticello, USS Pawnee, Revenue Cutter Harriet Lane, US tug Fanny, and two transports carrying about 900 troops under Major General Butler, departed Hampton Roads (later joined by USS Susquehanna and USS Cumberland) for Hatteras Inlet, NC, for first combined amphibious operation of the war. Hatteras Inlet was the main channel into Pamlico Sound and the most convenient entrance for blockade runners bringing supplies to the Confederate Army in Virginia. The Navy early recognized the strategic importance of the inlet and invited the Army to cooperate in its capture. The operation was designed to check Confederate privateering and to begin the relentless assault from the sea that would divert a large portion of Confederate manpower from the main armies.

    US tug Fanny, Lieutenant Crosby, reported the capture of the blockade running sloop Mary Emma at the headwaters of the Manokin River, Maryland.

    1 October 1861 -- Confederate naval forces, including CSS Curlew, CSS Raleigh, and CSS Junaluska. under flag Officer William F. Lynch, CSN, captured steamer Fanny in Pamlico Sound with Union troops on board. Colonel Claiborne Snead, CSA, reported: "The victory was important in more respects than one. It was our first naval success in North Carolina and the first capture made by our arms of an armed war- vessel of the enemy. and dispelled the gloom of recent disasters. The property captured [two rifled guns and large amount of army stores] was considerable, much needed, and highly esteemed. . ."

    10 February 1862 -- Following the capture of Roanoke Island, a naval flotilla, including embarked Marines, under Commander Rowan in USS Delaware, pursuing Flag Officer Lynch's retiring Confederate naval force up the Pasquotank River, engaged the gunboats and batteries at Elizabeth City, North Carolina. CSS Ellis was captured and CSS Sea Bird was sunk; CSS Black Warrior, Fanny, and Forrest were set on fire to avoid capture; the fort and batteries at Cobb's Point were destroyed.

    Displacement unknown
    Length unknown
    Beam unknown
    Depth unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement 49
    one 32-pdr
    one 8" Parrott rifle
    Propulsion steam

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    US Tug Fanny
    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
    92k Port side view of Fanny from "Harper's Weekly," 19 October 1861. From Harper's Weekly, Oct.19, 1861. Showing Fanny attacked by CSS Raleigh, CSS Curlew, and CSS Youngalasaka. It is not clear, however, if this was actually Fanny's appearance, as other contemporary drawings (in Frederick Stansbury Haydon's "Military Ballooning During the Early Civil War," for example) show a similar, but definitely different, ship, Fabio Pena and
    Tommy Trampp
    Fanny 208k Starboard side view of Fanny under way, courtesy of the Hampton Roads Naval Museum. Fabio Pena
    CSS Fanny
    Fanny 64k Sketch and illustration of James H. Raymond capturing the flag of CSS Fanny at Elizabeth City, N.C., 10 February 1862. Tommy Trampp

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 10 February 2023