Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster. Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.
NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive
USS James Adger
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons
Civil War Medal
Built in 1851 at New York City
Launched, date unknown
Purchased by the US Navy from Spofford, Tileston & Co., 20 July 1861
Commissioned, 20 September 1861, as USS James Adger, at New York Navy Yard, CDR. John B. Marchand in command
USS James Adger departed New York 16 October 1861 in pursuit of CSS Nashville, a Confederate cruiser
reported to have escaped from Charleston with the South's ministers to England and France, James M. Mason and John Slidell
James Adger arrived at Queenstown, Ireland in October, and cruised in quest of Nashville during November
She returned to Hampton Roads, VA., 2 December 1861, where she was ordered to Port Royal for duty in the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron
James Adger was assigned to assume command of the blockade at Georgetown, S.C., seeing there from 24 December 1861 to 7 March 1862
Reassigned in March to command of the blockage at Charleston
On 18 March 1862 she joined four other Union ships in capturing Emily St. Pierre attempting to slip into Charleston
Helped USS Keystone State, 29 May 1862, in capturing Elizabeth, a 250-ton steamer trying to enter Charleston with a
cargo of munitions
Assisted Keystone State and USS Flag in driving off and pursuing her old adversary Nashville,
now a blockade runner named Thomas L. Wragg trying to slip into Charleston
James Adger sailed for Baltimore, 19 September 1862, for repairs and departed for the South 31 December touching at Hampton Roads 2 January 1863 to take
monitor USS Montauk in tow
22 January 1863 James Adger stood out of Port Royal, with Montauk in tow and steamed to Ossabaw Sound in search of Nashville,
now a privateer renamed Rattlesnake on the Ogeechee River
Returning to Port Royal James Adger was assigned blockade duty off Charleston
She was recalled to Port Royal to embark prisoners captured with CSS Atlanta for passage to Fort Monroe and refitting at Philadelphia
The steamer sailed from Philadelphia before repairs were completed, 25 June in pursuit of Confederate commerce raider Tacony, then operating against Union merchantmen on
the East Coast
7 July James Adger, not yet repaired, received orders to Wilmington for duty with the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, arriving at Wilmington 27 July
Off New Inlet, 1 August 1863 she assisted USS Iroquois and USS Mount Vernon in taking
Confederate steamer Kate
On 8 November with the assistance of USS Niphon she captured CS Cornubia, an iron side
wheeler bringing in a valuable cargo of arms, ammunition, and chemicals
Moreover, a package of documents thrown overboard before the capture, when plucked out of the sea, divulged information so important to the South that
Cornubia's captain lamented, "though the Cornubia is a small vessel the Confederate Government could better have afforded to lose almost any
The next morning James Adger took Confederate steamer Robert E. Lee coming into Wilmington from Bermuda with a cargo of arms and Army
26 November, 1863, schooner Ella, approaching Wilmington with a cargo of salt and yard goods from Nassau, was James Adger's next victim
When the ship's long postponed repairs could be delayed no longer, James Adger sailed north and decommissioned at Philadelphia 28 December, 1863
Recommissioned, 17 June 1864, USS James Adger served in the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron until the end of the war
On 21 April 1865, Secretary Welles ordered her to Mariguana Passage (now Mayaguana Passage) in the Bahamas to escort a convoy of California-bound ships
Following a visit to New York, she cruised in the Caribbean off Panama and Colombia from August 1865 to February 1866
Back in New York, she assisted British steamer European after she exploded in New York Harbor 3 April 1866
James Adger decommissioned at New York Navy Yard, 2 May 1866 and was sold at New York to James B. Campbell 9 October 1866
Final Disposition, fate unknown
Displacement 1,152 t.
Depth of Hold 21'3"
Speed 11 kts
one 20-pdr Parrot rifle
|Click On Image |
For Full Size Image
.James Adger Merchant Ship name retained. James Adger was a wealthy and influential
merchants of antebellum Charleston, S.C. who used his position to good effect in the affairs of the city.
||Watercolor by Erik Heyl, 1948 of the steamship James Adger, painted for use in his book "Early American Steamers", Volume I.
Built at New York City in 1852, this steamer was commercially employed as SS James Adger in 1851-1861 and in 1866-1878. Between 1861 and 1866, she served as
USS James Adger
US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 63851. Courtesy of Erik Heyl.
|US Naval History and Heritage Command
||60th (Irish Brigade) Regiment embarking in SS James Adger at New York City for the war, 23 April 1861.
Harper's Weekly, Vol. V. No. 228 New York Saturday, May 11, 1861.
||"Merchant Steamers Converted into Gun-boats."
Engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1861 volume. Depicts thirteen merchant steamships acquired by the U.S. Navy between April and August 1861 and
subsequently converted into warships, plus the steamer Nashville (far left), which became a Confederate cruiser. US Navy ships as identified below the
image bottom, are (from left to right:
USS Quaker City,
USS Santiago de Cuba, (listed as "St. Jago de Cuba")
USS Mount Vernon,
USS South Carolina,
USS De Soto,
USS James Adger,
USS Bienville and
USS R.R. Cuyler.
US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59366.
||Preparing Merchant Vessels for the Blockade", Harper's Weekly, September 7, 1861. Merchant steamers
Valley City being fitted out for naval service at New York Navy Yard.
USS James Adger
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
Last Updated 2 August 2019
This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo|