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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

Wanderer (I)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

  • Built in 1857 as the schooner-rigged yacht Wanderer at the shipyard of Joseph Rowland, Setauket, Long Island, N.Y., by Thomas B. Hawkins for COL. John Johnson of New York City and Louisiana
  • Sold to William C. Corrie of Charleston, S.C., date unknown
  • Seized as a suspected slaver, 9 June 1858, in New York Harbor by revenue cutter USRC Harriet Lane
  • Wanderer was free to clear port after inspection found no evidence of intent to enter the slave trade
  • Arriving 25 June at Charleston the ship was fitted out for the slave trade
  • Wanderer took on board 500 slaves on the Congo River in September delivering her human cargo at Jekyll Island, 28 November
  • Word of Wanderer's arrival quickly spread, and a great deal of litigation ensued—both civil and criminal—but resulted in no convictions. During the next two years, ownership of the vessel changed several times and, on one occasion, the ship was stolen and taken to sea on a piratical and slaving voyage. Near the coast of Africa, the first mate led a mutiny and left the pirate captain at sea in a small boat before bringing the ship back to Boston on Christmas Eve 1859 and turning her over to authorities there.
  • Now under Southern registry Wanderer was confiscated in May 1861 at Charleston, S.C.
  • Assigned to the Gulf Blockading Squadron at Key West
  • On 30 November, Wanderer stopped the British schooner Telegraph off Key Vaccas, FL. The incident prompted a diplomatic protest from the British, 8 March 1862
  • Assigned to th East Gulf Blockading Squadron, 20 January 1862
  • Captured Sloop Ranger and schooner Annie B. during March and April 1863
  • Condemned by the Philadelphia prize court in May 1863 and was simultaneously purchased by the Union Navy.
  • Placed in ordinary at Key West while being refitted as a hospital ship in July 1863
  • Place out of service, 1 June 1865
  • Deteriorated rapidly during her relative inactivity, Wanderer was sold at public auction, 28 June 1865, at Key West, to Packer & Watson for the banana trade
  • Final Disposition, lost off Cape Maisi, Cuba, 21 January 1871
    Displacement 300 t.
    Length 106'
    Beam 25' 6"
    Depth unknown
    Draft 9' 6"
    Speed 20 kts
    Complement 30
    one 20-pdr Parrott rifle
    two 24-pdr Dahlgren howitzers
    Propulsion steam

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Wanderer 19k Wanderer underway during her wartime naval service, with two merchantmen in the background. (NR&L(0)17832)
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NR&L(O)17832.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command

    Wanderer (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
     LT. Spotts, James H.May 1861 - 25 June 1862
     Act. Master Turner, E. S.15 September 1862 - 30 April 1863
     Act. Master Barclay, J. O.30 April 1863 - 28 August 1863
     Act. Master's Mate Morris, William15 September 1863 - 10 December 1863
     Act. Master's Mate Tierney, Thomas10 December 1863 - 25 January 1864
     Act. Master's Mate Somes, Charles T.25 January 1864 - 2 June 1864
     Act. Master's Mate Clark, Samuel B.2 June 1864 - 15 October 1864
     Act. Master's Mate McClintock, William 15 October 1864 - 1 June 1865
    Courtesy Bill Gonyo

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    Last Updated 7 September 2012