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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Anacostia I


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Screw Steamer:
  • Built in 1856 at Philadelphia as a merchant tug M. W. Chapin
  • Chartered by the Federal government in September 1858, for an expedition to Paraguay South America as a result of the USS Water Witch incident
  • Assigned the the Washington Navy Yard for patrol duty on the Potomac River
  • Purchased by the US Navy, circa 27 May 1859, renamed USS Anacostia
  • During the Civil War Anacostia joined with Potomac Squadron and participated in the bombardment of the southern works at Aquia Creek, 31 May and 1 June 1861
  • Participated in various bombardments of southern positions along the southern flank of the Potomac River
  • Participated in the capture of the the steamer Eureka in the Rappahannock River, 20 January 1862
  • Took the sloop Monitor as a prize in June 1862
  • For the last two and a half years of the war Anacostia patrolled the waters of the lower Potomac and its tributaries
  • 28 December 1862, she captured the schooner Exchange in the Rappahannock River
  • Participated in the capture of the schooner Emily, 21 May 1864 on the Rappahannock River
  • 16 July 1864 assisted in the capture of the sloop Flying Cloud in Herring Creek, MD.
  • Decommissioned at the Washington Navy Yard, 12 June 1865
  • Sold at public auction there, 20 July 1865 to a Mr. Clyde, redocumented as Alexandria, 26 December 1865
  • Final Disposition, destroyed by fire at City Point, VA., 22 March 1868
    Specifications:
    Displacement 217 t.
    Length 129'
    Beam 23'
    Depth of Hold 5'
    Speed 7.5 kts
    Complement 67
    Armament
    two 9" Dahlgren smoothbores
    Propulsion steam

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    Casco 203k The attack upon the batteries at the entrance of Aquia Creek, Potomac River, by the United States vessels USS Pawnee, USS Yankee, USS Thomas Freeborn, USS Anacostia, and USS Resolute, June 1st, 1861. On May 31st Captain Ward, in command on board of the Thomas Freeborn, and assisted by two more of his gunboats, the Resolute and the Anacostia, began the attack on the Confederate batteries, and after a two hours' fight, succeeded in silencing the batteries at the landing; but, for want of long-range ammunition, could not effectually respond to the heavy fire from the heights, and so had to withdraw. The following day, however, with additional aid from the Pawnee and Yankee, the attack was resumed, and the batteries were at last silenced and the Confederates compelled to retreat." Frank Leslie, 1896.
    US Navy photo # HN 73736 of an engraving from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, 1861.
    Tommy Trampp

    USS Anacostia I
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 3 June 2016