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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Cayuga (I)


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Unadilla Class Screw Steam Gunboat:
  • Built, in 1861, by Gildersleeve and Son, East Haddam, CT.
  • Launched, 21 October 1861
  • Commissioned, USS Cayuga, 21 February 1862, at New York Navy Yard, LT. Napoleon B. Harrison in command
  • During the Civil War USS Cayuga was assigned to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron
    Cayuga participated in the operations leading to the capture of the lower Mississippi and the port of New Orleans
    Led the Federal fleet during its daring night past Forts Jackson and Saint Phillip, 24 April 1862
    Participated in the bombardments of Baton Rouge and Donaldsonville, LA.
    Cayuga was active in an engagement with CSS Arkansas in 1862
    Present at the occupation of Baton Rouge in 1862
    During 1863 to 1865 she patrolled along the Gulf Coast capturing several sailing blockade runners
    At Sabine Pass a reconnaissance patrol was ambushed by Confederate forces and the ship's Commanding Officer, LT. David A. McDermut, was mortally wounded and six men were captured, 18 April 1863
  • Decommissioned, at New York City, 31 July 1865
  • Sold in 25 October 1865, renamed SS Veteran
    Specifications:
    Displacement 507 t.
    Length 158' 8"
    Beam 28'
    Depth of Hold 12'
    Draft 10' 6"
    Speed 9 kts
    Complement 114 officers and enlisted
    Armament
    one 11" Dahlgren smoothbore
    one 20-pdr Parrot rifle
    two 24-pdr howitzers
    Propulsion
    rigged as a two masted schooner
    two 200 imp 30" stroke horizontal back-acting engines
    single screw

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    Essex 79k "Panoramic View of the United States Fleet passing the Forts on the Mississippi, on its way to New Orleans, April 19th, 1862."
    Contemporary line engraving published in "The Soldier in our Civil War", Volume I. It depicts the Federal ships shortly before they began the passage of the forts, with the Confederate gunboats waiting upstream. Individual U.S. Navy ships (as identified in text below the engraving) are:
    USS John P. Jackson;
    USS Mississippi;
    USS Pensacola;
    USS Hartford (Flagship);
    USS Iroquois;
    USS Westfield;
    USS Cayuga; and
    USS Varuna;
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 59063
    Robert Hurst
    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
    Cayuga 76k "Bailey in the Cayuga conning through the Confederate River Fleet."
    Post-Civil War artwork by J.O. Davidson, depicting USS Cayuga, flagship of the First Division under CAPT. Theodorus Bailey, in action during the battle off Forts Jackson and St. Philip, 24 April 1862. The artwork was approved by Admiral David Dixon Porter, who commanded the Federal mortar schooners during this battle.
    US Navy History and Heritage Command photo # NH 42243.
    Robert Hurst
    Cayuga 103k Wash drawing by R.G. Skerrett, of USS Cayuga, circa 1900. Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.
    US Navy History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59788.
    Tommy Trampp

    USS Cayuga (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Harrison, Napoleon Bonaparte21 February 1862 - 29 May 1862
    02CDR. Fairfax, Donald M. N.29 May 1862 - 14 January 1963
    03LCDR. McDermut, David A. (KIA, 18 April 1863)14 January 1963 - 18 April 1863
    04Act. Master Percy, Ezekiel D.18 April 1863 - 27 June 1863
    05LCDR. Dana, William H.27 June 1863 - 20 April 1864
    06LCDR. Wilson, Henry20 April 1864 - 31 July 1865
    Courtesy Bill Gonyo

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    Last Updated 7 January 2017