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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

Clara Dolsen

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Side-wheel Steamer:
  • Built, date and location unknown
  • Captured, 14 June 1862, by the gunboat USS Mound City and the tug Spitfire (not listed in DANFS) on the White River during the St. Charles expedition.
  • Clara Dolsen participated in the joint Army-Navy expedition to recapture Henderson, KY., 19 to 24 July 1862
  • Following that action Clara Dolsen served as a receiving ship at Cairo, IL. until April 1864
  • Since she had not been labeled as a prize, her owners brought suit for her return
  • The final adjudication restored Clara Dolsen to her owners, and she was turned over to the US Marshal for the Southern District of Illinois in May 1864, for delivery to her owners
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Displacement 939 t.
    Length 268'
    Beam 42'
    Depth 8' 9"
    Draft unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement unknown
    one 32-pdr
    Propulsion steam

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    Argosy 8k Robert Siderfin Critchel entered naval service at Cairo, Illinois on 3 Sept 1863. Two weeks prior to interview he obtained letters from Congressman Henry T. Blow and a couple of businessmen to see Admiral Porter, then in command of the Mississippi Squadron. In his absence he was interviewed by Captain Peacock and was asked what position in the navy he desired to be appointed. Being “green as a gooseberry” in the ways of the navy replied “the lowest commissioned officer in the navy”. He was given the rank of Acting Master’s Mate, issued a temporary uniform and assigned to the receiving ship Clara Dolsen for his indoctrination period. Once this was completed he was assigned to the gunboat USS Silver Cloud. He served aboard her for the duration of the war and was discharged from the Navy on 4 September 1865. He wrote a booked titled the “Recollections of a Fire Insurance Man” which is available as an e-book for a more detailed reading of his Navy experience. Bill Gonyo

    Clara Dolsen
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 10 May 2013