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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Whitehead

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Screw Gunboat:
  • A screw steamer built in 1861 at New Brunswick, N.J
  • Purchased by the Navy, 17 October 1861, at New York City from D. B. Martin
  • Commissioned USS Whitehead, 19 November 1861, Acting Master Charles A. French in command
  • During the Civil War USS Whitehead was assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron in the sounds and rivers of North Carolina
    Participated in the capture of Roanoke Island, 7 and 8 February 1862
    Took as prizes schooners Comet and J.J. Crittendon, and schooner America 10 April, Schooner Eugenia, 20 May and schooner Ella D, 22 May 1862
    Participated in the attack at Franklin, 3 October on the Blackwater River
    Participated in lifting the Confederate siege of Washington N. C., 31 Mary to 16 April 1863
    Participated in the bombardment and occupation Williamston, N.C., 6 and 7 July
    Destroyed a Confederate corn mill on the Roanoke River, 22 February 1864
    Participated in the battles with the Confederate ram CSS Albemarle in April and May 1864 on the Roanoke River
    Captured steamer Arrow, 28 July 1864, at Gatesville, N.C.
    Participated in the recapture of Plymouth, N.C., 31 October 1864
  • Decommissioned, 29 June 1865, at Philadelphia Navy Yard
  • Sold at public auction, 10 August 1865
  • Re-documented as SS Nevada, 7 October 1865, for mercantile service
  • Final Disposition, destroyed by fire, 1September 1872, at New London, CT.
    Displacement 136 t.
    Length 93' 1 ½"
    Beam 19' 9"
    Depth unknown
    Draft 8'
    Speed 8 kts
    Complement unknown
    one 30-pdr Parrott rifle
    Propulsion steam
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    Size Image Description Source
    Cohasset I
    77k Sketch by artist Alfred R. Waud, 1828-1891, of broadside views of USS Whitehead, Cohasset, and USS Young America, circa 1860s
    Library of Congress - Morgan collection of Civil War drawings Digital Id ppmsca 20424 //
    John Spivey
    Tacony 91k 19th Century photograph of a painting by Acting Second Engineer Alexander C. Stuart, USN, 1864. Depicting USS Commodore Hull (at left) leading the "Double-Ender" gunboats USS Tacony, USS Shamrock, USS Otsego and USS Wyalusing in engaging Confederate batteries at Plymouth, North Carolina, 31 October 1864. Small vessels lashed to the gunboats' unengaged sides include USS Whitehead (beside Tacony), Bazely (beside Shamrock) and USS Belle (beside Otsego).
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 58943 from the collection of Surgeon H.P. Babcock, USN. Donated by his son, George R. Babcock, 1939.
    Bill Gonyo

    USS Whitehead
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 18 November 2022