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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Wissahickon (I)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Unadilla Class Screw Gunboat:
  • Built in 1861 at Philadelphia by John Lynn
  • Launch, date unknown
  • Delivered to the Navy, 12 November 1861, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard
  • Commission USS Wissahickon, 25 November 1861, LT. A. N. Smith in command
  • During the Civil War USS Wissahickon was initially assigned to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron
    Participated in the action passing Forts Jackson and St. Philip at New Orleans, 24 April 1862
    Took part in the attack on the Confederate works at Grand Gulf, MS., 9 June 1862
    Joined in the dash by the Southern batteries at Vicksburg, MS., 28 June 1862
    Joined the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, 8 October 1862
    Participated in the attack on Fort McAllister, 27 January 1863
    Helped to destroy blockade runner Rattlesnake, 27 January 1863
    Destroyed the steamer Georaiana off Charleston, S.C. 19 March 1863
    Participated in the attack on Fort Wagner in July 1863
    Took part in the bombardment of Fort Sumter in September 1863
    Routine blockade duty occupied most of her time in 1864
    Participated in an expedition up the Broad River in Georgia in support of Sherman's advancing army in November 1864
    Participated in operations against Savannah, GA. during December 1864 and January 1865
  • Decommissioned, 1 July 1865, at New York Navy Yard
  • Sold at auction, 25 October 1865
  • Redocumented SS Adele, 20 January 1865 and entered commercial service
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown.
    Displacement 507 t.
    Length 158' 8"
    Beam 28'
    Depth of Hold 12'
    Draft 10' 6"
    Speed 9 kts
    Complement 114 officers and enlisted
    one 11" Dahlgren smoothbore
    one 20-pdr Parrott rifle
    two 24-pdr howitzers
    rigged as a two masted schooner
    two 200 imp 30" stroke horizontal back-acting engines
    single screw

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    Size Image Description
    New London 75k "View of Ship Island, Louisiana. -- By our Special Artist on Board the 'Sagamore"
    Line engraving, published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting several U.S. Navy ships anchored off the Federal base at Ship Island in early 1862. Ships are (from left to right) USS Winona, USS New London, USS Niagara, USS Sagamore, USS Wissahickon, and USS Massachusetts. Other features identified, in the center and right background, are Fort Massachusetts on Ship Island, the 9th Connecticut and 22nd Massachusetts Regiments and a military camp.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59009
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    CSS Nashville 170k Line engraving published in "The Soldier in Our Civil War", Volume II, page 41, showing Rattlesnake (ex-CSS Nashville) burning after being shelled by the monitor USS Montauk commanded by CAPT. John L. Worden, USN, in the Ogeechee River, Georgia, 28 February 1863. Fort McAllister is in the right-center background, and the U.S. Navy gunboats USS Wissahickon, USS Seneca and USS Dawn are providing supporting fire in the left distance.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59286
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Dandelion 75k "Bombardment of Fort McAllister, Georgia, 3 March 1863"
    Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", January-June 1863, page 196, depicting the bombardment of Fort McAllister by the U.S. Navy monitors USS Passaic, USS Patapsco and USS Nahant. The engraving is based on a sketch by "an eye-witness" on board USS Montauk, which is in the right center foreground. In the left foreground, firing on the fort, are the mortar schooners USS C.P. Williams, USS Norfolk Packet and USS Para. Among other U.S. Navy ships involved were gunboats USS Wissahickon, USS Seneca and USS Dawn and tug USS Dandelion.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59288
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Wissachickon 103k "The Line Of Battle, Ogeechee River"
    The second battle of Ogeechee River., 13 December 1864. A sketch from "Harpers Weekly" showing:
    USS C.P. Williams
    USS Dawn
    USS Wissahickon
    USS Seneca
    USS Montauk on the river.
    Tommy Trampp
    Wissachickon 273k USS Wissachickon crewmembers by the ship's Dahlgren XI-inch pivot gun and foremast, during the Civil War.
    From Francis Trevelyan Miller's "The Photographic History of the Civil War" Volume 6, page 43.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo #'s NH 42265 and NH 42267
    Robert Hurst
    Cambridge 132k Acting Ensign Walter Coffin Odiorne enlisted in the Navy at the age of eighteen. His first assignment was to the Gunboat USS Cambridge. He served aboard Cambridge until captured in November 1862. Four weeks later he was exchanged for Confederates prisoners. He took a leave of absence until spring of 1863 when he was assigned to USS Wissahickon, another gunboat. He remained in Wissahickon until May of 1864, when he was transferred to the mortar schooner T.A. Ward. Odiorne ended the war in Charleston, and stayed in the navy as an Acting Ensign until March 16th, 1866.
    Information and image courtesy of the Friends of Gettysburg Foundation
    Bill Gonyo

    USS Wissahickon (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Smith, Albert N.25 November 1861 - 6 May 1862
    02CDR. De Camp, John6 May 1862 - 18 September 1862
    03LT. Casey, Silas (XO) Temporary18 September 1862 - 24 October 1862
    04LCDR. Davis, John Lee24 October 1862 - 15 October 1863
    05LCDR. West, William C.15 October 1863 - 10 December 1863
    06LCDR. Bacon, George (Temporary)10 December 1863 - 23 January 1864
    07LCDR. Gamble, William M.23 January 1864 - 26 April 1864
    08LCDR. Crossman, Alexander F.26 April 1864 - 25 July 1864
    09LT. Mahan, Alfred Thayer25 July 1864 - 3 December 1864
    10LCDR. Johnson, Andrew W.3 December 1864 - 22 June 1865
    Courtesy Bill Gonyo

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    Last Updated 27 October 2017