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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Octorara (I)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal
Personnel Awards

Purple Heart (1 KIA, 10 WIA, 5 August 1864

Octorara Class Sidewheel Gunboat:
  • Laid down, date unknown, at Brooklyn Navy Yard
  • Launched, 7 December 1861
  • Commissioned USS Octorara, 28 February 1862, LT. George Brown in command
  • During the Civil War USS Octorara was briefly assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron before reporting as flagship for CDR. David D. Porter's Mortar Flotilla, part of the Mississippi Squadron
  • Participated in the attack at Vicksburg, 28 June 1862, damaged by friendly shell fire
  • Captured British blockade runner Tubal Cain, 24 July 1862, off Savannah, GA. while enroute to Baltimore for repairs
  • Octorara was next assigned to the "flying squadron" formed to hunt Confederate commerce raiders Alabama and Florida while part of the squadron she captured nine Confederate and British blockade runners
  • Joined to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron at New Orleans, 19 October 1863
  • Assisted in the blockade of Mobile, AL., until March 1864
  • Bombarded Fort Powell at the entrance to Mississippi Sound, 16 to 29 February 1864
  • Participated in the Battle of Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864, and subsequent bombardment and capture of Fort Morgan
  • Took part in the capture of the city of Mobile, 12 April 1865
  • Decommissioned, 5 August 1865, at New York
  • Sold, 9 November 1866
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Displacement 829 t.(lt) 981 t.(fl)
    Length 193' 2"
    Beam 34' 6"
    Draft 4' ½ "
    Speed 11 kts
    Complement 102
    one 80-pdr Dahlgren rifle
    one 9" smoothbore
    four 24-pdrs
    Propulsion steam
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    Size Image Description Source
    Lackawanna 230k Line engraving published in Harper's Weekly, 17 September 1864. Entitled "Admiral Farragut's Fleet Bombarding Fort Morgan, August 22, 1864", it depicts from left to right);
    USS Lackawanna,
    USS Manhattan,
    USS Octorara,
    USS Brooklyn,
    USS Winnebago and
    USS Richmond. Fort Morgan is shown in the right center distance, and a battery is at the far left
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59150.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Westfield 103k "Commander Porter's Mortar Flotilla".
    Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting the mortar schooner flotilla commanded by David Dixon Porter during the April 1862 attack on the forts below New Orleans.
    Vessels shown are (from left to right):
    USS Westfield,
    USS Adolph Hugel,
    USS Para,
    USS William Bacon,
    USS Oliver H. Lee,
    USS C.P. Williams,
    USS Henry Janes,
    USS George Mangham,
    USS Racer,
    USS Horace Beals,
    USS Sarah Bruen,
    USS Samuel Rotan,
    USS John Griffith,
    USS Rachel Seaman,
    USS Maria J. Carlton,
    USS Sidney C. Jones,
    USS T.A. Ward,
    USS Sea Foam,
    USS Maria A. Wood,
    USS Octorara (Porter's flagship) and
    USS Matthew Vassar.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 59061
    Robert Hurst
    Octorara 59k Watercolor of USS Octorara by Alex Stuart.
    USN Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 86354-KN (Color), courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Octorara 137k Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", January-June 1862, page 277, depicting the gunboats USS Octorara and USS Naugatuck firing on Confederate warships, including CSS Virginia, near Fortress Monroe, VA., circa March 1862.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59220
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Octorara 184k "Incident on board the Octorara, January 26, 1865".
    Line engraving published in Harper's Weekly, February 1865, depicting the attack on USS Octorara by the Confederate torpedo boat CSS St. Patrick, in Mobile Bay, Alabama.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 59153
    Robert Hurst
    Hartford 156k Flag Officer Farragut ship's passing Fort Morgan during the Battle of Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864. Drawing from the book "Under Both Flags" Veteran Publishing Co., © 1896. From left to right:
    USS Manhattan
    USS Tecumseh
    USS Brooklyn
    USS Octorara
    USS Hartford
    USS Metacomet
    USS Richmond
    USS Port Royal
    USS Lacakwanna
    USS Seminole
    USS Monongahela and
    USS Kennebec
    Tommy Trampp

    USS Octorara (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Brown, George28 February 1862 - September 1862
    02LCDR. Collins, NapoleonSeptember 1862 - 11 September 1863
    03LCDR. Low, W. W.11 September 1863 - ?
    Courtesy Bill Gonyo

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    Last Updated 3 May 2019