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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive
USS Gem of the Sea
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons
Civil War Medal
Built, date and location unknown
Launched, date unknown
Purchased, 4 August 1861, by the US Navy from Galway & Teller at New York
Commissioned, USS Gem of the Sea, 15 October 1861, Acting Volunteer LT. Irvin B. Baxter in command
Gem of the Sea departed New York 20 October to serve in the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron off the coast of South Carolina
Ran British blockade runner Prince of Wales aground off Georgetown 24 December 1861
Captured blockade runner Fair Play 12 March 1862
Captured schooner Dixie 15 April 1862
Captured schooner Mary Stewart 3 June
Took schooner Seabrook off Alligator Creek, 12 June
Took possession of four rice-laden lighters up the Waccamaw River 1 July
Ordered to the East Gulf Squadron, she arrived at Key West, FL., 18 December 1862 to guard the coast
Captured sloop Ann off Jupiter Inlet 30 December 1862
Took a small, unidentified schooner 12 January 1863 and a small boat 28 January
Captured schooner Charm in the Indian River Inlet 23 February
Captured sloop Peter, and British blockade runners Maggie Fulton and Inez in the same vacinity
Took British schooner Georgewas in the Sanibal River 29 July
Captured sloop Richard in Peace Creek 31 August
Destroyed the buildings and four boats of noted blockade runner Johnson in Peace Creek. 5 September
Captured British schooner Director 30 September
Took sloop Matilda 21 October
Participated from 24 to 30 December 1863, in an expedition up the Myacca River, transporting refugee rangers from Useppa Island to the mainland
Gem of the Sea spent her remaining career patrolling off Charlotte Harbor, FL.
Joined her tender Rosalie in capturing steamer Emma off nearby Malco Inlet 11 June 1864
Gem of the Sea departed Charlotte Harbor 2 February 1865 and entered the Philadelphia Navy Yard the 22 February
Decommissioned 24 February and was sold 6 May 1865 to A. C. Purvis & Sons, Philadelphia, PA.
Final Disposition, fate unknown
Displacement 371 t.
Beam 26' 3"
Depth of Hold 13'5"
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||Preparing Merchant Vessels for the Blockade", Harper's Weekly, September 7, 1861. Merchant ships Arthur,
Braziliera (sic Brazelero), Amanda and Gem of the Sea being fitted out for naval service at New York Navy Yard.
||"The Great Naval Expedition" to capture Port Royal, South Carolina, November 1861. Engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December
1861 volume, pages 696-697, depicts Federal warships and transports, under Flag Officer Samuel F. DuPont, USN, departing Hampton Roads, Virginia, en route to Port
Royal. Ships, as identified below the image bottom, are (from left): (illegible),
USS O.M. Pettit,
USS Gem of the Sea,
USS Wabash (DuPont's flagship),
USS Alabama and (illegible).
US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo #: NH 59315
USS Gem of the Sea
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
Last Updated 10 May 2019
This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo|