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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Valley City

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal
Personal Awards

Quarter Gunner John Davis
Screw Steamer:
  • Laid down in 1859 as the wooden-hulled screw steamer Valley City at Philadelphia. PA.
  • Launched, date unknown
  • Purchased by the Navy at New York City, 26 July 1861
  • Commissioned, USS Valley City,13 September 1861, at New York City, LT. James C. Chaplin in command
  • USS Valley City joined the Potomac Flotilla, 17 September 1861, for patrol and reconnaissance duties exchanging gunfire with a Confederate battery at Freestone Point, Va., 25 September 1861
  • Reassigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron in October 1861
  • USS Valley City participated in the amphibious assault upon Roanoke Island, N.C., 7 and 8 February 1862
  • Assisted in the capture of Elizabeth City, N.C., 10 February 1862
  • Assigned to protect Union troops stationed at Plymouth, N.C., 25 October 1862
  • Led a reconnaissance expedition, 2 November 1862, up the Roanoke River to Hamilton, N. C.
  • Re-deployed off Washington, N.C. early 1863, fired upon Confederate positions near Blount's Creek, N.C., on 15 April 1863
  • Assisted in the protection of Union forces ashore during a joint expedition up the Chowan River, N.C. 26 July 1863
  • Took as a war prize the schooner M. O'Neill, 5 May 1864
  • Assisted in the recapture of Plymouth, N. C. 29 October to 1 November 1864
  • Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register in the summer of 1865
  • Sold at public auction at New York, City, 15 August 1865, re-documented for merchant service, 28 December 1865
  • Final Disposition, lost at sea off Cape San Bias, FL., 30 January 1882
    Displacement 190 t.
    Length 127' 6"
    Beam 21' 10"
    Depth of Hold 7' 6"
    Draft 8' 4"
    Speed 10 kts
    Complement unknown
    four- 32-pdr guns
    Propulsion steam

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Valley City 73k Halftone reproduction of an artwork, published in "Deeds of Valor," Volume II, page 14, by the Perrien-Keydel Company, Detroit, 1907. This image shows Quarter Gunner John Davis preventing a powder explosion aboard USS Valley City by sitting on an open powder cask to protect it from nearby flames, during the attack on Confederates at Elizabeth City, N. C. on 10 February 1862. Davis received the Medal of Honor for this courageous act.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 79905
    Bill Gonyo

    USS Valley City
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Chaplin, James C.13 September 1861 - 27 May 1862
    02Act Vol. LT. Furniss, Hartman K.28 May 1862 - 21 September 1863
    03Act Master Brooks, John A. J.21 September 1863 - 1 June 1865
    Courtesy Bill Gonyo

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    Last Updated 9 August 2013