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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive
USS De Soto (I)
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons
Civil War Medal
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.
Speed 8 kts
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
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||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
||"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 Quaker City,
USS Santiago de Cuba, (listed as "St. Jago de Cuba")
USS Mount Vernon,
USS South Carolina,
USS De Soto,
USS James Adger,
USS Bienville and
USS R.R. Cuyler.
US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59366.
||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)
Last Updated 10 June 2022
This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo|