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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Oneida (II)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Mohican-class Screw Sloop-of-War:
  • Built as a three-masted screw sloop of war at New York Navy Yard
  • Launched, 20 November 1861
  • Commissioned USS Oneida, 28 February 1862, CAPT. Samuel P. Lee in command
  • During the Civil War USS Oneida participated in the following actions/campaigns:
    West Gulf Blockading Squadron
    Attacks on Forts Jackson and St. Philip
    Siege of Vicksburg
    Blockade operations off Mobile
    Battle of Mobile Bay
  • Decommissioned, 11 August 1865, at New York
  • Recommissioned in May 1867 for duty with the Asiatic Squadron
  • Sunk by collision with British steamer SS City of Bombay, off Yokohama, Japan, 24 January 1870
    Displacement 1,488 t.
    Length 201' 4"
    Beam 33' 10"
    Draft 8' 1"
    Speed 12 kts
    Complement 186
    three 30-pdrs
    two 9" guns
    four 32-pdrs
    one 12-pdr
    Propulsion steam and sail

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    Size Image Description Source
    Oneida (II) 76k Print of USS Oneida underway, date and location unknown. Darryl Baker
    Oneida (II)
    151k USS Oneida at anchor with crews laundry hanging out to dry, date and location unknown.
    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # NH 60683. Courtesy of Rear Admiral Farenholt, USN (M.C.), 1931.
    Robert Hurst
    Oneida (II)
    227k Photo by T. Lilienthal, New Orleans of a painting of USS Oneida underway.
    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # NH 508. Philibrick collection, Kittery Maine.
    Robert Hurst
    Oneida (II) 173k In July 1864 CDR. Thomas Holdup Stevens, Jr. commanded USS Oneida operating with the West Gulf Blockading Squadron. There, he took part in operations before Mobile, Alabama until 3 August. Admiral David Farragut then ordered him to command the double-turreted monitor USS Winnebago which he led in attacks on Fort Powell and in the Battle of Mobile Bay on the 5th. He resumed command of USS Oneida on 18 August and retained it through the end of the war and until she was decommissioned in August 1865. Bill Gonyo
    Kineo 158k
    "The Splendid Naval Triumph on the Mississippi, April 24th, 1862"

    Colored lithograph, published by Currier & Ives, 1862. The original print bears the following descriptive text: "Destruction of the Rebel gunboats, rams and iron clad batteries by the Union Fleet under Flag Officer Farragut. The attack was commenced on the 18th of April and continued until the 25th resulting in the capture of Forts Jackson, St. Phillip, Livingston, Pike and the city of New Orleans, as well as the destruction of all the enemy gunboats, rams, floating batteries (iron clad), fire rafts, booms and chains. The enemy with their own hands destroying cotton and shipping valued at from eight to ten millions of dollars. 'The sight of this night attack was awfully grand, the river was lit up with blazing rafts filled with pine knots and the ships seemed to be fighting literally amidst flames and smoke.'" In this view, ships are identified as (starting at top left center, up the river, running down to the right, then across toward the left): Confederate steamers; USS Cayuga (leading the Union column), USS Pensacola, burning confederate steamer, USS Varuna, USS Oneida, USS Mississippi (engaging the ram CSS Manassas), USS Richmond, USS Kineo, USS Hartford (flagship, in collision with a fire raft), USS Brooklyn and USS Winona. A Confederate fire raft is in the lower right. Fort St. Phillip is shown at right and Fort Jackson at left.
    Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.
    Tommy Trampp
    Harriet Lane
    96k Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting U.S. Navy mortar schooners shelling the Confederate forts defending the lower Mississippi River, 20 April 1862. Ships in the foreground are USS Harriet Lane (left) and USS Oneida (right).
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59064.
    Robert Hurst
    Governor Moore
    124k CSS Governor Moore beached and in flames, 24 April 1862. The Union ships are from left to right:
    USS Oneida
    USS Pinola
    the sunken USS Varuna
    USS Iroquois and in the foreground
    USS Pensacola.
    Drawing from an 1888 Century Company New York Publication
    Tommy Trampp
    Oneida (II)
    183k Sketch dated 30 August 1863 of USS Oneida from the private papers of Carpenter's Mate William M.C. Philbrick of USS Portsmouth.
    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # NH 43064. Philibrick collection, Kittery Maine.
    Robert Hurst
    Battle of Mobile Bay 171k Oil on canvas painting by the artist Tom Freeman entitled "Point Blank". The Battle of Mobile Bay, August 5, 1864. The Confederate ironclad CSS Tennessee does considerable damage to the USS Oneida. In the foreground, the dual turreted monitor USS Chickasaw blasts away at the Tennessee. In the left rear, the monitor USS Winnebago rushes to give aid. Photo and partial text courtesy of Old Glory Gallery and Frame Shoppe
    Oneida (II)
    272k Reproduction of a photograph of Ordinary Seaman William D. Newland, USN. Published in "Deeds of Valor", Volume II, page 71, by the Perrien-Keydel Company, Detroit, 1907. William D. Newland received the Medal of Honor for his conduct as a loader on USS Oneida's after 11-inch gun during the Battle of Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864.
    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 79930
    Robert Hurst
    Oneida (II)
    239k Image of the "Funeral of the Late RADM.] Henry H. Bell USN, of the Asiatic Squadron of the United States Navy, at Hiogo, Japan, 14 January 1868. Engraving after a sketch by Frederick G.S. Melbye, published in Harper's Weekly, 4 April 1868. Rear Admiral Bell was drowned in a boat accident off Osaka, Japan, on 11 January 1868. U.S. Navy ships present are (from center to right):
    USS Shenandoah, USS Hartford (Squadron flagship) and USS Oneida. A Japanese sampan and U.S. and British barges are also present, the boat on the left foreground is flying the Chaplain's flag.
    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 95124
    Robert Hurst
    Oneida (II) 472k A sketch of the sinking of USS Oneida off the port of Yokohama, Japan, Sunday, 23 January 1870.
    A periodical illustration from the collections of the US Library of Congress
    Bill Gonyo
    Oneida (II) 568k A sketch for "Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper", 19 March 1870, by a survivor of the sinking of USS Oneida off the port of Yokohama, Japan, Sunday, 23 January 1870.
    US Library of Congress periodical collection
    Bill Gonyo
    Oneida (II) 345k Gravestone in Japan at the grave of the USS Oneida crew members buried there. The inscription reads: IN MEMORY OF SOME OF THE UNKNOWN DEAD OF THE U.S.S. ONEIDA, LOST IN YEDDO BAY JANUARY 24, 1870 WHOSE REMAINS WERE HERE INTERRED. Photo taken on 5 November 2009 by Calton (real name unknown). Robert Hurst
    Oneida (II)
    240k Memorial of USS Oneida sinking. In memory of the officers and men who went down with USS Oneida. The vessel was sunk while homeward bound, by the steamship SS Bombay in Yeddo Bay Japan, 24 January 24, 1870.
    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # NH 900210, a US National Archives photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Oneida (II) 174k CDR. Edward P. Williams was the commanding officer of USS Oneida at the time of her sinking. She sank in 1870 outside Yokohama, Japan after the British steamer SS City of Bombay struck her and sailed off without rendering assistance. Japanese fishing boats saved 61 sailors but 125 men lost their lives including her captain.
    US Library of Congress
    Bill Gonyo
    Oneida (II)
    240k In addition to the commanding officer, CDR Williams these officers also lost their lives when USS Oneida was stuck by the steamship SS Bombay in Yeddo Bay Japan, 24 January 24, 1870.
    From left to right, LCDR. W. L. Stewart, LCDR. A.W. Muldaur and ENS. C.A. Copp.
    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command. Photos.
    Robert Hurst

    USS Oneida (II)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Forgotten Stories - The Tragic Tale of the USS Oneida, Part One
    Forgotten Stories - The Tragic Tale of the USS Oneida, Part Two
    Forgotten Stories - The Tragic Tale of the USS Oneida, Conclusion

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    Last Updated 19 November 2021