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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Belle


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Screw Tug:
  • A screw tug completed at Philadelphia early in 1864--operated briefly at Boston
  • Purchased by the Union Navy, 2 June 1864
  • Commissioned USS Belle, 3 June 1864
  • During the Civil War USS Belle was assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron
  • Refitted at Norfolk Navy Yard as a torpedo boat
  • Served on picket duty at mouth of the Roanoke River to sound the alarm if the Confederate ram CSS Albermarle attempted to escape from the river
  • Participated in the capture of Plymouth, N.C., 31 October 1864
  • Decommissioned circa May 1865
  • Sold at public auction, 12 July 1865, to Cozzens and Co.
  • Re-documented, SS Belle, 9 September 1865
  • Final Disposition, abandoned in 1891
    Specifications:
    Displacement 52 t.
    Length 61' 4"
    Beam 15'
    Depth 6' 4"
    Draft 8'
    Speed 10 kts
    Complement 19
    Armament
    one 24-pdr smoothbore
    one 12-pdr rifle
    Propulsion steam

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    Size Image Description Source
    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 Belle
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 26 October 2012