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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Pontiac (I)


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal
Individual Awards

Purple Heart Medal (7 November 1864, six dead, six wounded)

Wooden Double-ender Sidewheel Gunboat:
  • Laid down for the Navy in 1862 by Hillman & Streaker and Neafie, Levy & Co.
  • Delivered to the Navy at Philadelphia Navy Yard 7 July 1864
  • Commissioned USS Pontiac, 7 July 1864, LCDR. John H. Russell in command
  • During the Civil War USS Pontiac was assigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, 12 August 1864, station off Charleston
  • 1 September 1864, LCDR. Stephen B. Luce relieved LCDR. Russell in command
  • Pontiac engaged Southern guns at Battery Marshall, Sullivan’s Island 7 November, with casualties of six dead and six wounded.
  • Protected General Sherman's troops 40 miles up the Savannah River as they crossed at Sister's Ferry, GA., 13 January 1865
  • LCDR. Luce later credited his meeting with General Sherman as the beginning of his thinking which eventually resulted in the founding of the Naval War College
  • Captured steamer Amazon, 1 March 1865, a former Confederate ironclad laden with cotton
  • Decommissioned at New York Navy Yard 21 June 1865
  • Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
  • Sold 15 October 1867 to John Roach
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Specifications:
    Displacement 974 t.
    Length 205'
    Beam 35'
    Depth of Hold 11' 6"
    Draft 6' 6"
    Speed 11 kts
    Complement 172
    Armament
    two 100-pdr Parrott rifles
    four 9" smoothbores
    four 24-pdr howitzers
    two heavy 12-pdrs
    two 12-pdr rifles
    Propulsion steam

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    Pontiac 46k
    Namesake
    Pontiac or Obwandiyag (c. 1720 – April 20, 1769) was an Odawa war chief who became noted for his role in Pontiac's War (1763–1766), an American Indian struggle against British military occupation of the Great Lakes region and named for him. It followed the British victory in the French and Indian War, the North American front of the Seven Years' War. Pontiac's importance has been debated in the war that bears his name. Nineteenth-century accounts portrayed him as the mastermind and leader of the revolt, but some subsequent scholars argued that his role had been exaggerated. Historians today generally view him as an important local leader who influenced a wider movement that he did not command.
    Tommy Trampp
    Pontiace 239k Wood-cut engraving titled "THE DOUBLE-ENDER [USS Pontiac] DESCENDING THE SAVANNAH RIVER", published in "Harper's Weekly" March 1865. Tommy Trampp

    USS Pontiac
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 13 January 2017