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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Penguin (I)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Screw Steamer:
  • Laid down, date and location unknown
  • Launched, date unknown
  • Placed in commercial service, date unknown
  • Purchased at New York, 23 May 1861
  • Commissioned USS Penguin, 25 June 1861, Acting Volunteer LT. Thomas A. Budd in command
  • Assigned to the Potomac Flotilla of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, 19 August 1861
  • Reassigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron in November 1861
    Participated in the capture of Forts Walker and Beauregard
    Assisted in the taking of Fernandina, FL., 4 March 1862
    A Penguin boat crew was attacked while reconnoitering Mosquito Inlet, 22 March 1862, resulting in the death of Acting LT. Budd and four crewmen
  • USS Penguin was reassigned to the Gulf of Mexico to patrol off the coast of Texas
    Assisted in the destruction, near Galveston, of the blockade running steamer SS Matagorda, 8 July 1864
    Forced SS Granite City, ashore at Velasco, 21 January 1865
  • Decommissioned, 24 August 1865, at Boston, MA.
  • Sold, to Fogg and Co., 8 September 1865
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Displacement 389 t.
    Length 155'
    Beam 39' 8"
    Draft unknown
    Depth 10' 8"
    Speed 10 kts
    Complement unknown
    one 12-pdr
    four 32-pdrs
    Propulsion steam

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    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Penguin - Family (Spheniscida) are a group of aquatic flightless birds. They live almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere: only one species, the Galápagos penguin, is found north of the Equator. Highly adapted for life in the water, penguins have countershaded dark and white plumage and flippers for swimming. Most penguins feed on krill, fish, squid and other forms of sea life which they catch with their bills and swallow it whole while swimming. A penguin has a spiny tongue and powerful jaws to grip slippery prey. (Wikipedia)
    Tommy Trampp
    Ynakee 112k A Civil War line engravings from Frank Leslie's Illustrated, 1861. The upper engraving depicts the U.S. Potomac Flotilla in the Potomac between Freestone Point, VA., and Indian Head, MD., to prevent the passage of Confederates from Virginia to Maryland. Features seen include (from left to right):
    Tugboat Murray; USS Jacob Bell;
    Indian Head, Maryland;
    USS Yankee;
    USS Penguin;
    USS Satellite;
    USS Seminole;
    Confederate battery at Freestone Point; and the mouth of the Occoquan River.
    The lower engraving depicts a scene in Falls Village, Virginia, which was occupied by Federal troops. It shows Taylor's Tavern and the northern extremity of the town.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH NH 59240
    Robert Hurst
    Issac Smith 78k "Army & Navy Reconnaissance. Tuesday Morning Nov. 5" 1861 Line engraving published in "The Soldier in Our Civil War", Volume I, page 189, depicting Federal ships investigating Port Royal Sound, South Carolina, prior to their successful attack on Confederate fortifications there. Ships and other items identified across the bottom of the print include (from left to right):
    USS Mercury, with Generals Sherman and Stevens & staff on board;
    USS Penguin, with Hilton Head Battery beyond;
    USS Pawnee; Broad River (in distance);
    CSS Huntress (distance);
    USS Seneca; Steamer Screamer (distance);
    USS Ottawa with Capt. Rogers & General Wright on board;
    Steamer Everglades (distance, beyond Ottawa;
    USS Pembina;
    CSS Lady Davis (distance); Beaufort River (distance); Bay Point Battery (distance); USS Curlew; (probably misidentified as no record exists that USS Curlew served with South Atlantic Blockading Squadron) Confederate camp (distance);
    USS Isaac Smith.
    US Navy photo # NH 59319
    Tommy Trampp
    Issac Smith 75k "Bombardment and Capture of Port Royal, South Carolina, 7 November 1861" Engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1861 volume, pages 760-761. It depicts Federal warships, under Flag Officer Samuel F. DuPont, USN, bombarding Fort Beauregard (at right) and Fort Walker (at left). The Confederate squadron commanded by Commodore Josiah Tattnall is in the left center distance. Subjects identified below the image bottom are (from left): tug Mercury,
    Fort Walker,
    USS Wabash (DuPont's flagship),
    steamer Screamer (?),
    USS Susquehanna,
    CSS Huntsville, Commo. Tattnall, (probably misidentified as no record exists that CSS Huntsville served in the defenses of Port Royal, S.C.
    USS Bienville,
    USS Pembina,
    USS Seneca,
    USS Ottawa,
    USS Unadilla,
    USS Pawnee,
    USS Mohican,
    USS Isaac Smith,
    USS Curlew; (probably misidentified as no record exists that USS Curlew served with South Atlantic Blockading Squadron),
    USS Vandalia,
    USS Penguin,
    USS Pocahontas,
    USS Seminole,
    Fort Beauregard,
    USS R.B. Forbes
    and "Rebel Camp".
    US Navy photo # NH 59256
    US Naval History and Heritage Command

    USS Penguin (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 24 February 2023