Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster. Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.

NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS De Soto (I)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Sidewheel Steamer:
  • Built in 1859 as the Passenger/Cargo Ship De Soto by Lawrence & Foulks, Williamsburg, N.Y. for Livingston, Crocheron & Co. New York.
  • Launched, date unknown
  • Purchased by the Federal Navy, 21 August 1861, by George D. Morgan at New York from Livingston, Crocheron & Co., for $161,250
  • Prepared for Naval service at New York Navy Yard
  • Commissioned, USS De Soto, date unknown, CDR. William M. Walker in command
  • During the Civil War USS De Soto participated in the following:
    Gulf Blockading Squadron;
    Capture of the blockade runners Major Barbour and Star
    Western Blockading Squadron;
    Continued blockading operations at Barataria
    Eastern Gulf Blockading Squadron;
    Seized blockade runners Jane Adelie, Bright, General Prim, Prim and Clarita, Sea Bird, Cuba, Mississippian, Lady Maria, James Battle, William Bagley, Alice Vivian, Nita, Montgomery, Leviathan, and Cumberland
  • Decommissioned, 16 June 1864, at Portsmouth, N.H. and crew quarantined because of yellow fever
  • Recommissioned, 12 August 1865, at Baltimore, MD.
    North Atlantic Squadron;
    Sailed to Cape Haiten at Haiti to safeguard Americans residing in that area, returning to Hampton Roads, 19 December 1865
    Returned to the West Indies in June 1866
    While at St Thomas in the Danish West Indies as part of Sec. Seward's plan to purchase the colony for the US she was holed when a tsunami swept her from her moorings and thrown onto a wharf, following repairs De Soto sailed for Norfolk with the Danish Commissioner aboard
  • Decommissioned, 11 September 1868, at New York Navy Yard
  • Sold, 30 September 1868, at New York for commercial service
  • Final Disposition, destroyed by fire in December 1870 near New Orleans
    Displacement 1,675 t.
    Length 253'
    Beam 38'
    Draft 16'
    Speed 8 kts
    Complement 130
    1861 - eight 32-pdrs, 42cwt; one 30-pdr Parrott rifle
    1862 - six 32-pdrs, 42cwt; one 30-pdr Parrott rifle; one IX Dahlgren smoothbore; two 12-pdr smoothbores
    1864 - six 32-pdrs, 42cwt; one 30-pdr Parrott rifle; one IX Dahlgren smoothbore
    Propulsion steam and sail

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    De Soto 63k Watercolor by Erik Heyl, 1947, of SS De Soto painted for use in his book "Early American Steamers", Volume I.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 63872
    Tommy Trampp
    Alabama 186k "Merchant Steamers Converted into Gun-boats."
    Engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1861 volume. Depicts thirteen merchant steamships acquired by the U.S. Navy between April and August 1861 and subsequently converted into warships, plus the steamer Nashville (far left), which became a Confederate cruiser. US Navy ships as identified below the image bottom, are (from left to right:
    USS Alabama,
    USS Quaker City,
    USS Santiago de Cuba, (listed as "St. Jago de Cuba")
    USS Mount Vernon,
    USS Massachusetts,
    USS South Carolina,
    USS Florida,
    USS De Soto,
    USS Augusta,
    USS James Adger,
    USS Monticello,
    USS Bienville and
    USS R.R. Cuyler.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59366.
    Robert Hurst
    De Soto 75k USS De Soto in the harbor of Ponce, Puerto Rico, in 1868. The original print is mounted on a carte de visite.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 63872. Courtesy of William F. Low, 1927.

    USS De Soto (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. CDR. Walker, William M.21 August 1861 - ?
    02CAPT. Boggs, Charles S. :RADM1866 - 1868

    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The "Old Navy" Ship Photo Index
    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail Webmaster.
    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 10 June 2022