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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons
Civil War Medal
Unadilla-class Screw Gunboat:
The wooden hulled screw gunboat Owasco was built by Charles Mallory, Mystic, CT.
Launched, 5 October 1861
Delivered to the Navy at New York Navy Yard 6 December 1861
Commissioned USS Owasco, there 23 January 1862, LT. John Guest in command
Owasco departed New York 5 February joining CDR. David D. Porter's Mortar Flotilla at Key West, FL, 15 February
The assembled flotilla including Owasco sailed via Ship Island, MS. for Pass a L'Outre
Enroute, 16 March, Owasco captured schooners Eugenia and President
Owasco was one of seven gunboats assigned to Porter's mortar flotilla established to neutralize forts St. Philip and Jackson which protected New Orleans
against attack from the sea
Owasco duties including towing the schooners and helping them navigate safely in the tricky currents of the Mississippi
Mid-April Owasco and her sisters moved the schooners into position below the forts
18 to 24 April Owasco supported the attack on the Southern positions with flat trajectory fire
After Farragut led his deep draft vessels in a historic dash past the Confederate heavy works New Orleans fell
When Farragut ascended the Mississippi for the second time, Owasco helped to tow the schooners up river to a position just below Vicksburg from which
they bombarded the Confederate cliffside batteries 28 June as Farragut, raced under the Southern guns to join the Western Flotilla above Vicksburg
Owasco participated in the bombardment and capture of Galveston 3 October
After continuing blockade duty, she participated in the joint Army-Navy capture of Brazos, TX. 3 November 1863
She captured English schooner Fanny 19 April 1864, carrying cargo for Confederate General Magruder from Havana
She continued to serve along the coast of Texas through the end of the war
Decommissioned at New York Navy Yard, 12 July 1865, and was sold at auction at New York 25 October 1865
Final Disposition, fate unknown
Displacement 507 t.
Depth of Hold 12'
Draft 6' 9"
Speed 9 kts
one 20-pdr Parrott rifle
one 11" Dalghren smoothbore
two 24-pdr howitzers
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For Full Size Image
|Lithograph of USS Owasco published by Shearman & Hart, New York City, 1861. The original lithograph was issued with different titles to represent many, if
not all, of the Civil War 90-day gunboats.
US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 42926. Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.
|Union mortar steamers bombard Fort Jackson at the Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip. From left to right the ships are
USS USS Westfield,
USS Owasco, and
USS Harriet Lane.
Signed by J. Davidson. Image from p. 74 of the 1887 book Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, by Robert Underwood Johnson and Clarence Brough Buel, being for the
most part contributions by Union and Confederate officers, based upon the Century War Series, volume 2. Courtesy of the British Library from its digital collections.
|Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1863. USS Harriet Lane is shown in the left distance,
under attack by the Confederate gunboats Neptune and Bayou City. The grounded USS Westfield is at
right, being blown up to prevent capture. USS Owasco is in the center of the view.
US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 59141
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
Last Updated 3 February 2017
This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo