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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Nansemond


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Sidewheel Steamer:
  • Built as the sidewheel steamer James F. Freeborn, at Williamsburg, N. Y. in 1862
  • Launched, date unknown
  • Purchased by the Navy at New York City 18 August 1863 from Richard Squires
  • Commissioned USS Nansemond, 19 August 1863, at Baltimore, MD., LT. Roswell H. Lamson in command
  • Assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron off Wilmington 24 August 1863
    Destroyed the blockade running steamer Douro near New Inlet, N.C., 11 October 1863
    Ten days later Nansemond forced the blockade running steamer Venus ashore near the mouth of the Cape Fear River and the next morning set fire to the hulk
    On the evening of 4 November, USS Howquah sighted blockade runner Margaret and Jessie and pursued her through the night. The next morning, Nansemond and Army transport Fulton, which had joined in the chase, captured the notorious runner at sea, east of Myrtle Beach, S.C. Margaret and Jessie had previously succeeded in running the blockade 15 times
    On the evening of, 6 May 1864, CSS Raleigh steamed over the bar at New Inlet and attacked blockaders USS Britannia and Nansemond while a Confederate steamer raced to sea
    The following morning, Nansemond, Howquah, USS Mount Vernon, and USS Kansas repulsed a renewed attack by Raleigh, while attempting to withdraw over the bar at the mouth of Cape Fear River, grounded, suffered severe damage and was destroyed by her Commander, Flag Officer William F. Lynch, to prevent her falling into Union hands
    On 20 June Nansemond and USS Calypso embarked Army troops for an expedition to New River, N.C. to cut the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. However, word of the raid reached Confederate ears, and strong Southern defensive forces compelled the Union troops to withdraw under cover of the ships' guns.
    On 24 December 1864, Nansemond participated in the Union attack on Fort Fisher which protected the vital Southern port only to be repulsed the next day by determined defenders
  • After supporting the Union's final drive on Richmond, Nansemond decommissioned at Washington Navy Yard, 8 August 1865
  • She was transferred to the Treasury Department, 22 August1865 and served the Revenue Cutter Service as W. H. Crawford
  • Sold at Baltimore to Edward D. Booz 24 April 1897
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Specifications:
    Displacement 340 t.
    Length 146'
    Beam 26'
    Depth of Hold 9'6"
    Draft 8'3"
    Speed 15 kts
    Complement 63
    Armament
    one 30-pdr Parrot rifle
    two 24-pdrs
    Propulsion steam, two paddle wheels

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    USS Nansemond
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 7 January 2017