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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Seminole (I)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Seminole-class Screw Sloop-of-War:
  • Laid down, date unknown, at Pensacola Navy Yard
  • Launched, 25 June 1859
  • Commissioned, USS Seminole, 25 April 1860, CDR. Edward R. Thomson, in command
  • Seminole's first assignment was on the Brazil station until 23 May 1861
  • Refitted for blockade duty at Philadelphia Navy Yard
  • Assigned to the Atlantic Blockading Squadron for duty off Savannah, GA.
  • Sailed for the Potomac to check the threat of Confederate forces near Alexandria, capturing sloop Maryland and engaging Confederate batteries at Freestone Point, VA.
  • Reassigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron
  • Participated in the capture of Port Royal, S.C., 7 November 1861, bombarding forts Walker and Beauregard
  • Seized sloop Lida, 1 December 1861, off St. Simon's Sound, GA., while attempting to slip into the South laden with coffee, lead, and sugar from Havana, Cuba
  • Participated in the expedition which captured Fernandia, FL.
  • Reassigned to Hampton Roads, 25 March 1862, to strengthen Union naval forces there which were threatened by the Confederate ironclad, CSS Virginia
  • Seminole joined USS Monitor, USS Dacotah, USS Naugatuck, and USS Susquehanna in shelling Confederate batteries at Sewell's Point, VA. In response, Virginia came out, but not far enough to be rammed
  • After Norfolk was abandoned by Southern troops in late June, Seminole was ordered to the New York Navy Yard for repairs.
  • Recommissioned, 8 June 1863, and assigned to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron. En route south, she captured Confederate steamer, Charleston, 11 July 1863
  • Took steamer, Sir William Peel, 11 September 1863 off the mouth of the Rio Grande. This British merchantman was carrying 1,000 bales of cotton at the time of her capture.
  • Seminole participated in the Battle of Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864, passing the forts guarding the entrance to the bay lashed to USS Lackawanna but, as the action became general, cast off from her consort
  • After repairs at Pensacola, Seminole was sent to Galveston, remaining active along the coast of Texas through the end of the war, taking schooner, Josephine, 14 January 1865
  • Seminole's final action of the war came on 23 May, when she sent a party on board Denbigh and helped to set the blockade runner aflame
  • Decommissioned at the Boston Navy Yard, 11 August 1865 and was laid up there until sold, 20 July 1870, to Mullen and Winchester.
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown.
    Displacement 801 t.
    Length 188'
    Beam 30' 6"
    Draft unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement 120
    one 11" Dahlgren smoothbore
    one 30-pdr Parrott Rifle
    six 32-pdrs
    one light 12-pdr
    Propulsion steam

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Ynakee 112k A Civil War line engravings from Frank Leslie's Illustrated, 1861. The upper engraving depicts the U.S. Potomac Flotilla in the Potomac between Freestone Point, VA., and Indian Head, MD., to prevent the passage of Confederates from Virginia to Maryland. Features seen include (from left to right):
    tugboat Murray;
    USS Jacob Bell;
    Indian Head, Maryland;
    USS Yankee;
    USS Penguin;
    USS Satellite;
    USS Seminole;
    Confederate battery at Freestone Point; and the mouth of the Occoquan River.
    The lower engraving depicts a scene in Falls Village, Virginia, which was occupied by Federal troops. It shows Taylor's Tavern and the northern extremity of the town.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH NH 59240
    Robert Hurst
    152k The Expedition in Warsaw Sound Line engraving, probably published in "Harper's Weekly", January-June 1862 volume. It depicts USS Seminole and USS Ellen with several transports, and probably represents the expedition to Wassau Sound, Georgia, in late January 1862. Transports (all steamships) present are (from left to right): SS Belvidere, SS McClellan, SS Boston, SS Delaware, and SS Cosmopolitan.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo #:NH 59332
    Robert Hurst
    Naugatuck 130k Bombardment of Sewell's Point, Virginia, 8 May 1862.
    Print published in Fiveash, "Virginia-Monitor Engagement", Norfolk, Virginia, 1907. It depicts USS Monitor (at left) accompanied by the Federal war ships USS Naugatuck, USS Dacotah, USS Seminole and USS Susquehanna (listed in no particular order, and depicted rather inaccurately), firing on the Confederate batteries at Sewell's point, near Norfolk VA.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 58756.
    Robert Hurst
    Naugatuck 118k Published in Fiveash, "Virginia-Monitor Engagement, Norfolk, Virginia, 1907". It depicts CSS Virginia (at left) making her appearance near Craney Island as USS Monitor (left center) and other Federal warships withdraw after bombarding Sewell's Point, near Norfolk. The other U.S. Navy ships presented included USS Naugatuck, USS Dacotah, USS Seminole and USS Susquehanna.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 59213.
    Robert Hurst
    Narragansett 223k "The Great Expedition -- The Vessels at Anchor at Hampton Roads Previous to the Departure". Line engraving published in Harper's Weekly, July-December 1861 volume, page 725. It consists of two views of Flag Officer DuPont's squadron at Hampton Roads, VA., prior to leaving, 29 October 1861 to capture Port Royal, S.C. Ships and geographical features, as identified below the images, are (upper engraving, from left to right):
    ferry boats,
    store ship,
    steamer SS Marion,
    USS Seminole,
    steamer SS Ben Deford,
    tug Grapeshot,
    Fort Monroe,
    USS Narragansett,
    USS Alabama,
    USS Pawnee, and
    new ("90-Day") gunboats.

    (lower engraving, from left to right):
    store ship,
    USS Vanderbilt,
    steam tug (foreground),
    store ship,
    steamer Winfield Scott,
    steamer Atlantic,
    USS Minnesota,
    steamer SS Baltic,
    USS Relief,
    USS Wabash,
    USS R.B. Forbes,
    steamer SS Oriental,
    steamer SS Matanzas,
    steamer SS Philadelphia,
    and the Rip Raps.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo #: NH 59317
    Robert Hurst
    Issac 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 Navy photo # NH 59256
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Hartford 156k Flag Officer Farragut ship's passing Fort Morgan during the Battle of Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864. Drawing from the book "Under Both Flags" Veteran Publishing Co., © 1896. From left to right:
    USS Manhattan
    USS Tecumseh
    USS Brooklyn
    USS Octorara
    USS Hartford
    USS Metacomet
    USS Richmond
    USS Port Royal
    USS Lackawanna
    USS Seminole
    USS Monongahela and
    USS Kennebec
    Tommy Trampp

    USS Seminole (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 19 March 2021