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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Ceres


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Sidewheel Steamer:
  • Built in 1856 at Keyport, N.J.
  • Purchased by the US Navy 11 September 1861
  • Fitted out at Washington Navy Yard
  • Commissioned USS Ceres in September 1861, Acting Master J. L. Elliott in command
  • Initially assigned to the Potomac Flotilla
  • Reassigned, 18 September 1861 to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron
  • USS Ceres operated in the rivers and sounds of Virginia and North Carolina enforcing the blockade of southern ports, an important part of the Navy's contribution in the Civil War
    USS Ceres captured four blockade runners during her service
    Participated in the support for Army forces holding or attempting to take coastal positions, as well as providing boats and cover for amphibious operations, raids, and reconnaissance
    Participated in the capture of Roanoke Island, 7 and 8 February 1862 and the naval engagement off Elizabeth City, capturing CSS Ellis
    Captured steamer Wilson, 9 July 1862, while covering the landing of an Army raiding party near Hamilton, N.C.
    During 1863 Ceres protected the forces holding such posts as Fort Anderson at New Bern, and the positions near Washington, N.C.
    Participated in the series of attacks around Plymouth, N.C., losing two men killed and six wounded when she was taken under heavy fire from Fort Grey, upriver from Plymouth, 17 April 1864
    19 April 1863 Ceres gave warning of the approach of the Confederate ram CSS Albemarle and took part in the first engagement with the ram which followed
    On 5 May, Ceres and her group again engaged Albemarle and two other steamers
    Following the sinking of Albemarle by LT. W. B. Cushing, and later salvage, Ceres towed the ram north to Norfolk at the close of the war
  • Ceres decommissioned, 14 July 1865, at New York and was sold 25 October 1865
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Specifications:
    Displacement 150 t.
    Length 108' 4"
    Beam 22'4"
    Depth of Hold unknown
    Draft 6'3"
    Speed 9 kts
    Complement 45
    Armament
    one 30-pdr rifle
    one 32-pdr smoothbore
    Propulsion steam, two paddlewheels

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    Size Image Description Source
    Hetzel 154k "The Battle at New Bern -- Repulse of the Rebels, March 14, 1863."
    Line engraving, published in "Harper's Weekly", 11 April 1863, depicting the action at Fort Anderson, Neuse River, North Carolina. U.S. Navy gunboats USS Hunchback, USS Hetzel, USS Ceres> and USS Shawsheen are firing from the river at Confederate forces, as Union artillery and infantry move into position on the near shore.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 95121
    Robert Hurst

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