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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS R. R. Cuyler


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Screw Gunboat:
  • Built as the wooden steamer R.. R. Cuyler in 1860 by Samuel Sneeden of New York for H. B. Cromwell & Co.
  • Chartered by the War Department in 1961
  • Acquired by the Navy in May 1861, purchased in August 1861
  • USS R. R. Cuyler under the command of CAPT. Francis B. Ellison, steamed for Florida for blockade duty in September 1861
  • R. R. Cuyler participated in the capture and burning of Finland in Apalachicola Bay, 26 August 1862
  • Intercepted and assisted in the capture of steamers SS A. J. View and SS Henry Lewis in the Mississippi River in November 1862, the sloops Advocate, Express, and Osceola and the schooners Delight and Olive met a similar fate
  • 20 January 1863, off Mobile Bar, USS R. R. Cuyler seized schooner J. W. Wilder
  • In March 1863 she captured schooner Grace E. Baker off Cuba, and on 3 May, the schooner Jane at sea.
  • Stationed off Mobile Bay during May, R. R. Cuyler captured the steamer SS Eugenie and schooners Hunter and Isabel and 14 July, the steamer Kate Dale
  • Seized the steamer SS Armstrong and her cargo 4 December 1864
  • Decommissioned at New York, 1 July 1865
  • Sold at auction, 15 August 1865 to Russel Sturgis of New York. In December 1866
  • Purchased by the Republic of Colombia renamed El Rayo
  • Final Disposition, blown from her moorings in Cartagena Harbor during a storm and grounded on a coral reef in September 1867 and abandoned
    Specifications:
    Displacement 1,200 t.
    Length 237'
    Beam 33' 3"
    Draft 17'
    Speed 14 kts
    Complement unknown
    Armament
    eight 32-pdrs
    two rifles
    Propulsion steam
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    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    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
    Montgomery (III) 158k Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1861, pages 456-457, depicting a large number of Navy ships off the New York Navy Yard, early in the Civil War. Vessels shown include (from left to right): USS Montgomery;
    USS Vandalia;
    USS Brandywine;
    USS North Carolina;
    USS Potomac;
    USS Savannah;
    USS R.R. Cuyler;
    USS Mount Vernon;
    USS Roanoke;
    USS Resolute
    and USS Wabash. A rowing launch is underway in the foreground.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59308
    Bill Gonyo
    R. R. Cuyler 74k Watercolor by Erik Heyl of USS R. R. Cuyler painted for use in his book "Early American Steamers", Volume I. Built at New York City in 1860, this steamer served as USS R.R. Cuyler during 1861-1865. She became the Columbian warship El Rayo in 1866 and was lost in September 1867.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 63853, Courtesy of Erik Heyl.
    Tommy Trampp
    R. R. Cuyler 72k Reproduction of a contemporary lithograph, copied from the book "Arthur Winslow" of the steamer USS R. R. Cuyler
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 2107.
    Tommy Trampp

    USS R. R. Cuyler
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 7 January 2017