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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Isaac Smith

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal
Awards, Personnel Awards

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Medal of Honor (Richard Stout, Landsman, USN, 30 January 1863) - Purple Hearts (8 KIA and 17 WIA at Stono River)

Swiftsure Propeller Steamer:
  • Built in 1851 as the steamer, Isaac P. Smith, at Nyack, N.Y.
  • Purchased by George D. Morgan for the Union Navy at New York from E. J. Hamilton 9 September 1861 for $50,000
  • Commissioned USS Isaac Smith, 16 October 1861 at New York, N.Y.
  • Assigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, 16 October 1861, joining Flag Officer S. F. Du Pont's assault against Port Royal, S.C.
  • Participated in a reconnaissance in force, 4 and 5 November 1861, engaging and repelling three attacking Confederate steamers and silenced batteries at Hilton Head and Bay Point, S.C.
  • Two days later Isaac Smith towed USS Vandalia into action during the landings at Port Royal
  • Participated in operations against the coast of South Carolina until 21 January 1862 and was part of the force assigned to the diversionary attack at Savannah, GA.
  • Isaac Smith was active during the latter half of March and all of April in the vicinity of St. Augustine, FL.
  • Participated in the tightening of the blockade at Jacksonville, FL, from May to August 1862
  • Ordered to the Stono River where she served until 30 January 1863. That day she was caught in a cross fire from masked shore batteries. Disabled by accurate fire and with her deck covered with wounded men, her captain surrendered the ship rather than risk their lives. Eight men were dead and 17 were wounded
  • Isaac Smith served the Confederate Navy in Charleston waters under the name Stono
  • Wrecked on the breakwater near Fort Moultrie, S.C., while attempting to run the blockade with a load of cotton 5 June 1863
  • Final Disposition, burned by the Confederates at the evacuation of Charleston in 1865
    Displacement 453 t.
    Length 171' 6"
    Beam 31' 4"
    Depth of Hold 9'
    Draft unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement 56
    one 30-pdr Parrott rifle
    eight VIII-inch Dahlgren smoothbores 63cwt (removed 13 August 1862)
    steam engine(s)
    Swiftsure propeller(s)

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Isaac Smith 296k Hudson River Steamboat Isaac Smith under way in merchant service in 1861. Her upper deck was later removed for Navy service. Oil on canvas painting by James Bard (1815-1897), 1 January 1861. Image courtesy The Robert Hurst
    Isaac Smith 78k "Army & Navy Reconnaissance. Tuesday Morning Nov. 5" 1861 Line engraving published in "The Soldier in Our Civil War", Volume I, page 189, depicting Federal ships investigating Port Royal Sound, South Carolina, prior to their successful attack on Confederate fortifications there. Ships and other items identified across the bottom of the print include (from left to right):
    USS Mercury, with Generals Sherman and Stevens & staff on board;
    USS Penguin, with Hilton Head Battery beyond;
    USS Pawnee; Broad River (in distance);
    CSS Huntress (distance);
    USS Seneca; Steamer Screamer (distance);
    USS Ottawa with Capt. Rogers & General Wright on board;
    Steamer Everglades (distance, beyond Ottawa;
    USS Pembina;
    CSS Lady Davis (distance); Beaufort River (distance); Bay Point Battery (distance); USS Curlew; (probably misidentified as no record exists that USS Curlew served with South Atlantic Blockading Squadron) Confederate camp (distance);
    USS Isaac Smith.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59319
    Tommy Trampp
    Isaac Smith 75k "Bombardment and Capture of Port Royal, South Carolina, 7 November 1861" Engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1861 volume, pages 760-761. It depicts Federal warships, under Flag Officer Samuel F. DuPont, USN, bombarding Fort Beauregard (at right) and Fort Walker (at left). The Confederate squadron commanded by Commodore Josiah Tattnall is in the left center distance. Subjects identified below the image bottom are (from left): tug Mercury,
    Fort Walker,
    USS Wabash (DuPont's flagship),
    steamer Screamer (?),
    USS Susquehanna,
    CSS Huntsville, Commo. Tattnall, (probably misidentified as no record exists that CSS Huntsville served in the defenses of Port Royal, S.C.
    USS Bienville,
    USS Pembina,
    USS Seneca,
    USS Ottawa,
    USS Unadilla,
    USS Pawnee,
    USS Mohican,
    USS Isaac Smith,
    USS Curlew; (probably misidentified as no record exists that USS Curlew served with South Atlantic Blockading Squadron),
    USS Vandalia,
    USS Penguin,
    USS Pocahontas,
    USS Seminole,
    Fort Beauregard,
    USS R.B. Forbes
    and "Rebel Camp".
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59256
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Isaac Smith 43k Artist's impression of the captured USS Isaac Smith in the Stono River, South Carolina in 1863.
    Image from "The Siege of Charleston 1861-65", p. 122, by Emmett Robinson - Burton, E. Milby, University of South Carolina Press, 1970.
    Robert Hurst
    Isaac Smith 81k Richard Stout, former Landsman, USN Halftone image published in "Deeds of Valor", Volume II, page 43, by the Perrien-Keydel Company, Detroit, 1907. Landsman Stout was awarded the Medal of Honor for his brave actions on board USS Isaac Smith when she was captured by Confederate forces in the Stono River, South Carolina, on 30 January 1863.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 79915
    US Naval History and Heritage Command

    USS Isaac Smith
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 8 July 2022