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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Kennebec (I)


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Unadilla Class Screw Gunboat:
  • Laid down, date unknown, by G. W. Lawrence, Thomaston, ME.
  • Launched, 5 October 1861
  • Commissioned, 8 February 1862, at Boston Navy Yard, LT. John H. Russell in command
  • During the Civil War USS Kennebec was assigned to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron
    Between February and April USS Kennebec was initially employed in reconnoitering the Confederate defenses on the lower Mississippi
    Participated in the action to pass Forts Jackson and St. Philip by Admiral David Farragut's fleet in April 1862
    Participated in the siege of Vicksburg
    In August 1862 USS Kennebec was assigned to open sea blockade and cruising duty in the Gulf
    Assisted in the capture of schooner Jupiter, 4 May 1863
    Took schooner Hunt, 17 May 1863
    Captured steamer William Bayley, 18 July 1863
    Shared in the capture of schooner Winona, 29 November 1863
    Captured schooner Marshall J. Smith, 9 December 1863
    Took steamer Gray Jacket 31 December 1863
    Captured schooner John Scott, 7 January 1864
    Participated in the destruction of grounded blockade runner steamer Ivanhoe at Mobile, 6 July 1864
    >Took part in the attack of Mobile, 5 August 1864
    USS Kennebec spent the remainder of the war on blockade duty off the coast of Texas
  • Decommissioned, 9 August 1865, at Boston Navy Yard
  • Sold, 30 November 1865, at New York
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Specifications:
    Displacement 507 t.
    Length 158' 8"
    Beam 28'
    Depth of Hold 12'
    Draft 10' 6"
    Speed 9 kts
    Complement 114 officers and enlisted
    Armament
    one 11" Dahlgren smoothbore
    one 20-pdr Parrot rifle
    two 24-pdr howitzers
    Propulsion
    rigged as a two masted schooner
    two 200 imp 30" stroke horizontal back-acting engines
    single screw

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    Size Image Description
    Kennebec 118k "Reconnaissance of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, on the Mississippi, by Gun-boats from Flag-officer Farragut's Squadron"
    Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting the attack on the obstructions below the forts, 20 April 1862. US Navy gunboats shown in right center are USS Itasca and USS Pinola. Further to the right are USS Kennebec and USS Winona. Fort Jackson is shown at far right, with Confederate gunboats beyond.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59066
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Kennebec 70k 1864 Civil War CDV Photograph of United States Navy Paymaster's Steward Charles D. Densmore, USS Kennebec Tommy Trampp
    Kennebec 118k Acting Master John J. Butler enlisted in the Union Navy, 18 December 1862, and received his appointment as Acting Ensign,23 December 1862. Upon completion of his instruction he was assigned to the gunboat USS Kennebec in early 1863. In correspondence with the Secretary of the Navy his commanding officer LCDR. William P. McCann noted his “favorable assistance to the wounded” following the Battle of Mobile Bay dated 6 August 1864. On 15 December his was promoted to the rank of Acting Master. On 22 May 1865 he submitted his resignation from active service. He was officially discharged, 18 September 1865, from the Union Navy. Bill Gonyo

    USS Kennebec (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Russell, John Henry8 February 1862 - 10 December 1863
    02LCDR. McCann, William P.10 December 1863 - 30 November 1864
    03LCDR. Abbott, Trevett30 November 1864 - 15 June 1865
    04Act. Vol. LCDR. Pennington, Lewis W.15 June 1865 - 9 August 1865
    Courtesy Bill Gonyo

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    Last Updated 17 June 2016