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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive
CSS Water Witch
USS Water Witch (III) (1852 - 1864)
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons
Civil War Medal
Sidewheel Steamer Gunboat:
Built, date unknown, at Washington Navy Yard
Launched in 1851
Commissioned USS Water Witch in the winter of 1852-53, LT. Thomas Jefferson Page in command
From 1853 to 1856 USS Water Witch conducted surveys along the Atlantic coast of South America
Decommissioned, 12 May 1856, at Washington Navy Yard for repairs
Recommissioned, 17 September 1858, joining Flag Officer W. B. Shubricks' squadron to Paraguay seeking redress for firing on Water Witch and killing a crew member while the ship was surveying the La Plata River in February 1855
Water Witch returned to survey work following the expedition to Paraguay
Decommissioned, 1 November 1860, at Philadelphia Navy Yard for repairs
Recommissioned, 10 April 1861
During the Civil War USS Water Witch participated in the following campaigns/actions:
Joined the Gulf Blockading Squadron at Pensacola, 2 May 1861, as dispatch boat and mail packet
Summer 1861 found Water Witch at the mouth of the Mississippi River were she conducted reconnaissances missions
Water Witch was assigned to the East Gulf Blockading Squadron, 20 January 1862, where she again served as dispatch boat and mail packet
Captured the Confederate blockade runners, Cornucopia, 13 November 1861 and schooner William Mallory, 5 March 1862
Decommissioned, April to September 1862, for repairs
Recommissioned, 6 September 1862, joining the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron at Port Royal, S.C., 18 September
Participated in the taking of Confederate positions on the St John's River in October
USS Water Witch was boarded and captured by Confederate forces in Ossabaw Sound, 3 June 1864
Taken into the Confederate Navy, name retained, LT. W.W. Games CSN in command
Final Disposition, burned at White Bluff, GA., 19 December 1864, by the Confederates to prevent capture by Union forces
Displacement 378 t.
Depth 11' 6"
Speed 11.5 kts
four 32-pdr smoothbores
one 24-pdr howitzer
one 30-pdr muzzle loading rifle
one 12-pdr muzzle loading rifle
two 12-pdr smoothbores
one inclined condensing engine (37 1/2" x 6') 180hp
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||Ships of The Paraguay Squadron under way. Ships are from left to right:
USS Water Witch next the flag-ship
USS Sabine; next to
USS Fulton; behind Fulton is
USS Western Port (later USS Wyandotte); next is
USS Harriet Lane; behind Harriet Lane is
USS Supply; and next the bow of
Artist unknown. Image from Harper's Weekly, New York, 16 October 1858.
||Drawing of USS Water Witch under way.
US Library of Congress photo.
||Drawing of USS Water Witch under way.
Courtesy the National Civil War Museum.
||Sketch of USS Water Witch by Alfred Rudolph Waud, Inscribed "Gift, J.P. Morgan, 1919."
||Civil War collectors card with wash drawing of USS Water Witch underway, date and location unknown.
||Wash drawing of USS Water Witch underway.
US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 60353.
||USS Water Witch at anchor, date and location unknown.
Photo courtesy of the Peabody Museum of Salem. Photo from "Warships of the Civil War Navies" by Paul H. Silverstone.
||Historic marker recording the capture of USS Water Witch by Confederate forces, 19 December 1864. The marker is located on
Dancey Ave 0.1 mile from Davidson Ave, Savannah, GA. Undated photo taken by David Seibert.
||Replica of USS Water Witch completed in 2009, sits outside the National Civil War Naval Museum. Photo courtesy of National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus, GA.
||USS Water Witch reenactment crew during the replicas commissioning in 2009. Photo courtesy of National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus, GA.
USS Water Witch III
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
Last Updated 21 April 2017
This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo|