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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Westfield

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Sidewheel Steamer:
  • Laid down in 1861 by Jeremiah Simonson, Greenpoint, N.Y. as the Staten Island ferry SS Westfield
  • Purchased from Cornelius Vanderbilt, 22 November 1861
  • Fitted out for naval service at New York, by J. A. Westervelt
  • Commissioned, USS Westfield in January 1862, CDR. William B. Renshaw, in command
  • During the Civil War USS Westfield was assigned to CDR. David D Porter's Mortar Flotilla at the Passes of the Mississippi, 18 March 1862
    Surveyed the lower Mississippi prior to the assault on Forts Jackson and St. Philip
    Fired on CSS Defiance, 13 April 1862, causing that vessel to be abandoned and sunk by her crew
    Supported Porter's Mortar Flotilla during the bombardment of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, 14 to 24 April 1862
    Participated in the siege of Vicksburg in the summer of 1862
    Reassigned to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, for duty off the coast of Texas in July 1862
    Led assault unit on attack of Galveston, 4 October 1862
    Attacked by Southern warships during the retaking of Galveston by Confederate forces on 1 January 1863
  • Final Disposition. destroyed by her crew in January 1863 to prevent capture by Confederate forces at Galveston
    Displacement 822 t.(fl)
    Length 215'
    Beam 35'
    Depth-of-hold 13' 6"
    Draft unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement unknown
    one 100-pdr Parrott rifle
    one 9" Dahlgren smoothbore
    four 8" Dahlgren smoothbores
    one steam engine
    two sidewheels

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Westfield 52k Wash drawing of USS Westfield by R.G. Skerrett, 1904. Courtesy of the New Jersey Historical Society.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 48488
    Bill Gonyo
    Westfield 56k Watercolor by Erik Heyl, 1962, of USS Westfield painted for use in his book "Early American Steamers", Volume IV. She was originally the civilian ferryboat Westfield, built in 1861. Courtesy of Erik Heyl.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 63703
    Bill Gonyo
    Colorado 134k Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, based on a sketch by an officer of USS Mississippi depicting Commodore Farragut's Squadron and Captain Porter's Mortar Fleet entering the Mississippi River at the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi, circa 7 April 1862. Features identified in the engraving's title lines include (from left to right): Light-house on Southwest Pass;
    USS Colorado (in left foreground);
    USS Pensacola on the bar;
    USS Westfield (seen nearly stern-on);
    Porter's mortar fleet, heading up the river;
    USS Mississippi on the bar;
    USS Harriet Lane (side-wheel steamer at the rear of the mortar fleet);
    USS Connecticut (in right foreground);
    USS Clifton;
    town of Banona.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 59059
    Robert Hurst
    Owaswco 400k Union mortar steamers bombard Fort Jackson at the Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip. From left to right the ships are USS Clifton, USS USS Westfield, USS Owasco, and USS Harriet Lane.
    Signed by J. Davidson. Image from p. 74 of the 1887 book Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, by Robert Underwood Johnson and Clarence Brough Buel, being for the most part contributions by Union and Confederate officers, based upon the Century War Series, volume 2. Courtesy of the British Library from its digital collections.
    Robert Hurst
    Westfield 103k "Commander Porter's Mortar Flotilla".
    Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting the mortar schooner flotilla commanded by David Dixon Porter during the April 1862 attack on the forts below New Orleans.
    Vessels shown are (from left to right):
    USS Westfield,
    USS Adolph Hugel,
    USS Para,
    USS William Bacon,
    USS Oliver H. Lee,
    USS C.P. Williams,
    USS Henry Janes,
    USS George Mangham,
    USS Racer,
    USS Horace Beals,
    USS Sarah Bruen,
    USS Samuel Rotan,
    USS John Griffith,
    USS Rachel Seaman,
    USS Maria J. Carlton,
    USS Sidney C. Jones,
    USS T.A. Ward,
    USS Sea Foam,
    USS Maria A. Wood,
    USS Octorara (Porter's flagship) and
    USS Matthew Vassar.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 59061
    Robert Hurst
    Westfield 92k Wood block print of USS Westfield from Frank Leslie's Illustrated History of the Civil War (New York, c. 1890). Titled "Fire Raft Sent Down the Stream from Fort Jackson to Destroy the Approaching Federal Fleet - The Boats of the Squadron, with Help of the Ferryboat "Westfield" Towing it away from the Federal Vessels" Tommy Trampp
    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
    Harriet Lane 195k Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1863. USS Harriet Lane is shown in the left distance, under attack by the Confederate gunboats Neptune and Bayou City. The grounded USS Westfield is at right, being blown up to prevent capture. USS Owasco is in the center of the view.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 59141
    Robert Hurst

    USS Westfield
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 12 May 2017