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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Vincennes (I)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Boston class Sloop-of-War:
  • The first of ten sloops-of-war authorized by Congress, 3 March 1825
  • Laid down in 1825 at New York Navy Yard
  • Launched, 27 April 1826
  • Commissioned USS Vincennes, 27 August 1826, Master Commandant William Bolton Finch in command
  • USS Vincennes departed New York, 3 September 1826, for a four year around the world cruise, the first US Navy ship to circumnavigate the globe
  • Decommissioned, 10 June 1830, at New York
  • Recommissioned in 1830-31, CDR. Edward R. Shubrick in command, assigned to the West Indies to protect American commerce from pirates
  • Decommissioned, 19 August 1832, at Portsmouth N.H Navy Yard
  • Recommissioned, 1 June 1833, CDR. Alexander S. Wadsworth in command, assigned to her second Pacific cruise, Vincennes was the first American warship to call at Guam, completing her second circumnavigation of the globe at Hampton Roads, VA., 5 June 1836
  • Decommissioned, 18 June 1838, Vincennes remained in ordinary at Norfolk, VA., for two years
  • Recommissioned, in 1836, as the flagship for Lt. Charles Wilkes' United States South Sea Surveying and Exploring Expedition to the Antarctic and South Pacific, a voyage of almost four years
  • Assigned to the Home Squadron, in June 1842, CDR. Franklin Buchanan in command
  • Vincennes next sailed for the Far East, 4 June 1845, under the command of CAPT. Hiram Paulding as part of Commodore James Biddle squadron as part of the United States first attempt at making official contact with the Japanese government
  • Decommissioned, 9 April 1847, at New York
  • Recommissioned, 12 November 1849, for assignment to the Pacific
  • Decommissioned, 24 September 1852, at New York
  • Recommissioned, 21 March 1853, as flagship for CDR. Cadwalader Ringgold's survey of the China Seas and the North Pacific
  • Vincennes completed her third circumnavigation of the globe arriving at New York, 13 July 1856
  • Decommissioned, 17 July 1856, at New York
  • Recommissioned, 3 November 1857, assigned to the African Squadron to aid in the suppression of the slave trade
  • Decommissioned, 3 April 1860, at Boston Navy Yard
  • Recommissioned, 29 June 1861
  • During the Civil War USS Vincennes was assigned to the Gulf Blockading Squadron and participated in the following campaigns/actions:
    Assisted in the occupation of Head of Passes, Mississippi River, 3 September 1861, remaining there on occupation duty
    Forced aground at Head of Passes by CSS Manassas, 12 October 1861, refloated the same day
    Captured the blockade-running British bark Empress, 27 November 1861
  • Decommissioned and laid up in ordinary, 28 August 1865 at Boston Navy Yard
  • Sold at public auction, 5 October 1867
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Displacement 700 t.
    Length 127'
    Beam 33' 9"
    Draft 16' 6"
    Speed 10 kts
    Complement 80
    Armament 18 guns
    Propulsion sail

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Vincennes 182k Portrait of Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, Commander of the United States Exploring Expedition 1838-1842, by Thomas Sully, 19 January 1840. Courtesy of U.S. Naval Academy Museum. Robert Hurst
    Vincennes 408k A modern rendering of the six vessels of the U.S. Exploring Expedition assembled at Orange Bay, near Cape Horn, in February 1839. Shown from the left are the schooner Sea Gull at anchor; the flagship USS Vincennes in the foreground, hoisting out her launch; the schooner Flying Fish under way, shifting her anchoring ground; the sloop-of-war USS Peacock with her hands furling sail; the brig USS Porpoise standing in and shortening sail, preparing to anchor; and the store ship USS Relief in the distance with her upper yards sent down, preparing to distribute provisions. Artist unknown.
    From "Sea of Glory: The Epic South Seas Expedition 1838-42" by Nathaniel Philbrick.
    Robert Hurst
    Vincennes 94k Colored lithograph of USS Vincennes published by N. Currier, 2 Spruce Street, New York City, 1845. Courtesy of the Naval Art Collection, Washington, D.C.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 66524-KN (color).
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    NH 83178
    98k Photographs of a painting (based on a sketch by Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, USN), depicting USS Vincennes in Disappointment Bay, Antarctica, circa January-February 1840, artist is unknown.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 83178. From collection of Captain Glenn Howell, 1974.
    Tommy Trampp and
    Robert Hurst
    Vincennes 111k
    Vincennes 100k "Vincennes in Disappointment Bay". Line engraving by C.A. Jewett, after a sketch by Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, USN, depicting USS Vincennes in the Antarctic ice, circa January-February 1840.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 51494.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Vincennes 120k "View of the Antarctic Continent". Line engraving by Jorban & Halpin, after a sketch by Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, USN, depicting men and dogs of the U.S. Exploring Expedition "ashore" on the ice, with the Antarctic mountains in the distance, circa January-February 1840. USS Vincennes is amid the ice flows at right. The print is copied from "U.S. Exploring Expedition", Volume II.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 51495.
    Robert Hurst
    Vincennes 141k Painting by Alfred Agate, depicting USS Vincennes riding out a storm while cruising in the ice off Antarctica, circa January-February 1840. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, D.C.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 63631.
    Robert Hurst
    Vincennes 137k Sketch of the sloop-of-war USS Vincennes running before a gale amid the Antarctic ice.
    From The Narrative, courtesy Smithsonian Institution Libraries as found in "Sea Of Glory: The Epic South Seas Expedition 1838-42" by Nathaniel Philbrick.
    Robert Hurst
    Vincennes 115k Sketch of the sloop-of-war USS Vincennes at the San Francisco bar. After a night of being pummelled by seas that approached forty feet in height, the squadron's flagship joined the brig-of-war USS Porpoise, the newly acquired brig USS Oregon, and once they'd reached Hawaii, the schooner Flying Fish for the passage to New York via the Cape of Good Hope. From the Narrative, courtesy Smithsonian Institution Libraries, as found in "Sea Of Glory: The Epic South Seas Expedition 1838-42" by Nathaniel Philbrick. Robert Hurst
    Vincennes 99k Picture depicting the First U.S. Navy visit to Japan, July 1846. This is a copy made by Mr Renjo Shimo Oka from an original Japanese painting, depicting USS Columbus and USS Vincennes anchored in Edo (Tokyo) Bay, Japan, circa 20-29 July 1846. They were under the command of Commodore James Biddle,
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 63523.
    Robert Hurst
    Vincennes 166k "The U.S.S. Columbus and Vincennes in Japan". Contemporary lithograph published by Wagner & McGuigan, based on sketches by John Eastly. It depicts USS Columbus (right center), flagship of Commodore James Biddle, and USS Vincennes (left) anchored in Jeddo Bay, Japan, circa 20-29 July 1846. They are surrounded by a fleet of Japanese small craft, which acted to prevent the ships from communicating with the shore. Courtesy of Mrs. Macomb, Washington, D.C., circa 1920.
    Caption at the bottom of the sketch reads "On the 20th of July 1846, the U.S. Ships Columbus & Vincennes entered the Bay of Jeddo or (as the Japanese call it) Yeddo. The Ships stood well up the Bay until the Japanese, who had come on board, mentioned that they must not proceed further, and the Commodore not wishing to give offense anchored abreast a village, and about three miles from the shore. As soon as the Ships anchored they were surrounded by a large number of boats from whose warlike appearance much difficulty was not anticipated. Shortly after the sails were furled, the Commanders were politely requested to land their guns, ammunition, muskets & everything in the shape of a weapon, which request was as politely refused. The Anchorage was about 15 miles to the S(outh) and E(ast) of Yedo, which was hidden by a high point of land making out into the Bay. The Country around was beautifully green and the fields as well as could be distinguished from the ships were in fine order and to all appearance well cultivated. No person was allowed to land; and boats passing between one ship and the other were always followed by at least four Japanese armed boats to prevent their landing; and therefore there was no good opportunity of judging as to what the real state of the country might be. The visit altogether was one of the most novel kind. The people polite, amiable and exceedingly jealous of their customs, and adhered strictly to the long established one of not receiving the slightest remuneration for anything that they gave. The visitors were politely informed that as soon as their wants were made known they would be attended to and that done they were desired to leave and never return again. The Ships sailed from there on the 29th after an interesting stay of nine days, during which time hundreds of Japanese visited the Ships, and to hasten their departure, formed a line of several hundred boats to tow the vessels out to sea, and left rejoicing that they had rid themselves so easily of such a number of Barbarians."
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 54484.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Vincennes 186k USS Vincennes at anchor in Edo (Tokyo) Bay, Japan, circa 20-29 July 1846, surrounded by Japanese small craft. This image is cropped from a contemporary lithograph published by Wagner & McGuigan, based on sketches by John Eastly. Tommy Trampp
    Vincennes 65k USS Vincennes and an American crewman in Edo Bay in 1846, depicted by a Japanese artist. Tommy Trampp
    Richmond 140k "The Battle at the Southwest Pass -- The Ram 'Manassas' attacking the 'Richmond.' -- Sketched by an Officer of the 'Richmond'." A line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1861, depicting CSS Manassas attacking USS Richmond near the Head of Passes, Mississippi River, on 12 October 1861. Other ships depicted include the U.S. sailing sloops of war USS Vincennes and USS Preble (in left center and at right).
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59012.
    Robert Hurst
    Vincennes 193k Monument to Ships named USS Vincennes in Vincennes, Indiana's Patrick Henry Square.
    Image taken, 25 February 2008 by Mingusboodle (real name unknown).
    Robert Hurst

    USS Vincennes (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 19 August 2016