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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Massachusetts (II)


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Screw Steamer:
  • An iron-hull steamer built in 1860 at Boston
  • Purchased by the Navy Department, 3 May 1861 from Boston and Southern Steamship Co.
  • Commissioned USS Massachusetts, 24 May 1861, CDR. Melancton Smith in command
  • During the Civil War USS Massachusetts was initially assigned to the Gulf Blockading Squadron
  • Took as a prize British ship Perthshire, near Pensacola, FL., 8 June 1861
    In June 1861 captured Achilles on the 17th, Naham Stetson on the 19th off Pass a lí0utre, LA., and Mexican schooner Brilliant, Confederate blockade-running schooners Trois Freres, Olive Branch, Fanny, and Basile in the Gulf of Mexico on the 23d.
    In July 1861 seized schooner Hiland near Ship Island on the 13th, and engaged steamers Arrow and Oregon off Chandeleur Island, on the 14th
    Captured sloop Charles Henry 7 August 1861
    A Massachusetts landing party took Ship Island, 20 September 1861, providing a base for ADM Farragut to launch his attack at New Orleans
    Decommissioned, 28 February 1862, at New York
  • Fitted out as a transport and supply ship and recommissioned, 16 April 1862
  • Decommissioned, 3 December 1862, at New York
  • Recommissioned, 10 March 1863, serving the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron through the end of the war
  • Captured sloop Parsis in Wassaw Sound 12 March 1863
  • With USS Commodore Perry captured blockade runner Caledonia, 30 May 1864 south of Cape Fear
  • Aided USS Gettysburg and USS Keystone State in the capture of Confederate steamer Lilian
  • Decommissioned, 22 September 1865, at New York
  • Sold, 1 October 1867, at public auction in New York
  • Redocumented as SS Crescent City, 11 February 1868 for commercial into 1872
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Specifications:
    Displacement 1,515 t.
    Length 310' 10"
    Beam 33' 2"
    Depth unknown
    Draft unknown
    Speed 11 kts
    Complement unknown
    Armament
    one 22-pdr
    one 42 cwt pivot gun
    four 82 cst guns
    Propulsion sail and steam
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    Size Image Description
    Massachusetts 65k Watercolor by Erik Heyl, 1951, of SS Massachusetts painted for use in his book "Early American Steamers", Volume I. Completed in 1860, this steamer served as USS Massachusetts in 1861-1867. In 1868, following her return to civilian use, she was renamed SS Crescent City.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 63878, courtesy Erik Heyl
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Alabama 186k "Merchant Steamers Converted into Gun-boats."
    Engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1861 volume. Depicts thirteen merchant steamships acquired by the U.S. Navy between April and August 1861 and subsequently converted into warships, plus the steamer Nashville (far left), which became a Confederate cruiser. US Navy ships as identified below the image bottom, are (from left to right:
    USS Alabama,
    USS Quaker City,
    USS Santiago de Cuba, (listed as "St. Jago de Cuba")
    USS Mount Vernon,
    USS Massachusetts,
    USS South Carolina,
    USS Florida,
    USS De Soto,
    USS Augusta,
    USS James Adger,
    USS Monticello,
    USS Bienville and
    USS R.R. Cuyler.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59366.
    Robert Hurst
    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

    USS Massachusetts (II)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 7 January 2017