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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Teaser (I)
CSS Teaser (1861 - 1862)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Screw Tug:
  • Built, date unknown, as the commercial screw tug York River at Philadelphia, PA.
  • Purchased at Richmond by the State of Virginia in 1861 and assigned to the naval forces in the James River, LT. J. H. Rochelle, Virginia State Navy, in command
  • Upon Virginia's secession from the Union Teaser became a part of the Confederate Navy
  • Assigned to operate in Virginia waters, LT. W. A. Webb, CSN, in command
  • Participating in the battle of Hampton Roads, 8-9 March 1862, acting as tender to CSS Virginia
  • Teaser also served as a balloon ship and minelayer under LT. H. Davidson, CSN
  • While engaging USS Maratanza at Haxall's on the James, 4 July 1862, a Union shell blew up her boiler and forced her crew to abandon ship
  • Summer 1862 Teaser was taken into the Federal Navy and assigned to the Potomac Flotilla and conducted anti-smuggling patrols
  • Captured schooner Southerner, 22 September 1862, in the Coan River
  • In March 1863 USS Teaser and USS Primrose boat expeditions in Pope's Creek and Monroe's Creek seized smugglers boats used for smuggling and collected information from Union sympathizers
  • Reassigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron at Hampton Roads in April 1863 were she ran aground up the Namsemond River damaging her machinery
  • Reassigned to the Potomac Flotilla in July 1863 to anti-smuggling patrols
  • Supported an Army expedition to Mochodoc Creek, VA. 13 April 1864
  • Decommissioned, 2 June 1865, at Washington Navy Yard
  • Sold at public auction at Washington to Mr. J. Bigler, 25 June 1865, re-documented as York River, 2 July 1865, and she served commercially until 1878.
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Displacement 65 t.
    Length 80'
    Beam 18'
    Depth of Hold 7'
    Draft unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement 25
    one 32-pdr
    one 100-pdr
    one 12-pdr Parrott rifle
    Propulsion steam

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    CSS Teaser
    Virginia 41k The ironclad CSS Virginia steams from Gosport Navy Yard with tenders CSS Teaser and CSS Jamestown to engage Union Fleet at Hampton Roads, Virginia, 8 March 1862.
    "Virginia's Debut" by Tom Freeman - Ironclad CSS Virginia 1862 - Civil War Art
    Tommy Trampp
    Teaser 39k CSS Teaser 100 pdr. Stern mounted gun aboard the Confederate Gunboat Teaser in the James River, after her 4 July 1862 capture by the USS Maratanza.
    Library of Congress, Photo No. LC-B811-482.
    Tommy Trampp and Mike Green
    Maratanza 86k Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1862, page 486, depicting USS Maratanza in the foreground, firing on and capturing CSS Teaser in the James River, Virginia, 4 July 1862.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59216.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Teaser 88k Photograph taken on board CSS Teaser by Matthew Brady, soon after she was captured on the James River, 4 July 1862. This view shows her 12-pounder Parrott rifled gun mounted on a slide pivot carriage at her bow. A gunners' sponge, a shovel and a two casks are also visible. This gun was on display in the Washington Navy Yard, D.C., in 1970.
    Library of Congress photo # LC-B8171-481
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Teaser 122k Photograph taken on board CSS Teaser by Matthew Brady, soon after she was captured on the James River, 4 July 1862. This view shows damage amidships from the boiler explosion that led to her capture. It probably looks aft on the port side, with the muzzle and carriage of her 32-pounder gun in the distance.
    Library of Congress photo # LC-B8171-483
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Teaser 49k Blockade runner CSS Teaser off Fort Monroe, Hampton Roads, VA.,.
    Library of Congress SKU - CWP-0421
    Tommy Trampp

    CSS Teaser
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    USS Teaser (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Rochelle, James Henry CSNMay 1861 - 17 June 1861CSS Teaser
    02LT. Carter, Robert Randolph CSN18 June 1861 - July 1861CSS Teaser
    03Acting Master Face, William Haley CSNJuly 1861 - January 1862CSS Teaser
    04LT. Webb, William A. CSN18 February 1862 - 20 June 1862CSS Teaser
    05LT. Davidson, Hunter CSN20 June 1862 - 4 July 1862CSS Teaser
     Capture by Union forces4 July 1862CSS Teaser
    01Act. Ens. Sheridan, Philip22 September 1862 - 31 December 1864USS Teaser
    02Act. Ens. Walker, Benjamin1 January 1865 - 15 February 1865USS Teaser
    03Act. Ens. Potter, William H.15 February 1865 - 2 June 1865 (Decom)USS Teaser
    Courtesy Bill Gonyo

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    Last Updated 20 January 2017