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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Saginaw (I)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Sidewheel Steamer:
  • Laid down, 16 September 1858, at Mare Island Navy Yard
  • Launched, 3 March 1859 as Toucey
  • Renamed Saginaw, 5 January 1860
  • Commissioned, USS Saginaw, 5 January 1860, CDR. James F. Schenck in command
  • USS Saginaw was assigned to the East India Squadron in May 1860, to protect American citizens and to suppress pirates
  • Decommissioned, 3 January 1862, at Hong Kong and returned to Mare Island on 3 July for repairs
  • Relaunched, December 1862
  • Recommissioned, 23 March 1863
  • USS Saginaw was assigned to the Pacific Squadron and operated along the western seaboard to prevent Confederate activity
  • Following the Civil War Saginaw continued to operate along the western seaboard and in Alaskan waters
  • From March to October 1870 Saginaw supported dredging operations at Midway Island
  • Assignment completed, Saginaw sailed for San Francisco the end October 1870
  • The ship intending to touch at Ocean Island en route home to rescue any shipwrecked sailors who might be stranded there
  • On 29 October, as she neared this rarely visited island, Saginaw struck an outlying reef and grounded the surf battered the ship to pieces but the crew was able to get ashore with some of the ship' stores
  • On 18 November, a party of five men, headed by LT. John G. Talbot, the executive officer, set out for Honolulu in a small boat to get relief for their stranded shipmates. As they neared Kauai, 31 days and some 1,500 miles later, their boat was upset by breakers. Only Coxswain William Halford survived to obtain help for the marooned men of Saginaw
    Displacement 453 t.
    Length unknown
    Beam unknown
    Depth of Hold unknown
    Draft unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement 50
    one 150-pdr Dahlgren rifle
    one 32-pdr
    two 24-pdr rifles
    Propulsion steam

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Lancaster 297k Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Charles S. Coy was appointed Acting Masterís Mate, 5 October 1861, and was temporarily assigned to USRS North Carolina until 31 October 1861 where he was reassigned to USS Lancaster. Coy served aboard Lancaster until 26 January 1864. During his service aboard Lancaster he was promoted to Acting Ensign, 16 January 1863, followed by promotion to Acting Master on 27 January 1864. Reassigned to USS Saginaw from February 1864 until 3 April 1866. During his tenure aboard Saginaw he was promoted to Acting Volunteer Lieutenant on 12 June 1865. When he was detached from Saginaw he was ordered to return to the United States. Upon his arrival, 12 June 1866, he was granted four months leave of absence prior to his honorable discharge on 12 October 1866. The portrait was taken in Peru in 1864 during a port of call while Saginaw while was assigned to the Pacific Squadron protecting the interests of the U.S. endangered by Confederate activity and by European interference in Mexico. Bill Gonyo
    Saginaw 55k USS Saginaw returning to Mare Island Navy Yard in 1862. The ship at anchor to starboard of Saginaw is the stores ships USS Warren.
    Courtesy United States Naval Institute.
    Tommy Trampp
    Saginaw 189k USS Saginaw as she appeared after the Civil War, circa 1867. She carries a considerably heavier armament than she did when commissioned and resembles a merchantman more than a man-of-war. Illustration by J. M. Caiella.
    Courtesy United States Naval Institute.
    Tommy Trampp
    Saginaw 114k An image of the side-wheel sloop USS Saginaw stuck on an outlying reef, at Ocean Island or Kure Atoll, 29 October 1870, as depicted by her captain CDR. James F. Schenk. Photo from "The Last Cruise of the Saginaw" by George H. Read. Published in 1912. Robert Hurst

    USS Saginaw (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Shipwrecks in Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument
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    Last Updated 6 May 2016