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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive
USS William G. Putnam
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons
Civil War Medal
Built as a wooden-hulled tug in 1857 at Brooklyn, N.Y.
Launched, date unknown
Purchased by the Union Navy, 24 July 1861, at New York City and renamed General Putnam soon thereafter
Name reverted to William G. Putnam, apparently before commissioning
Commissioned, USS William G. Putnam, 13 September 1861, Acting Master William J. Hotchkiss in command
Initially assigned to the Potomac Flotilla, at Washington, D. C., arriving 16 September 1861
Reassigned to the Atlantic Blockading Squadron, the next day at Old Point Comfort, VA. arriving 23 September, operating off the North Carolina coast
William G. Putnam initial duty was to reconnoiter Ocracoke Inlet, she additionally patrolled off Hatteras Inlet
Reassigned to the newly formed North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, 29 October 1861
In February 1862, the tug took part in the expedition which captured Roanoke Island, N.C. On the 6th
6 November the tug was reassigned to blockade duty off the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay between Fortress Monroe and the south side of the Piankatank River
William G. Putnam joined the small flotilla at Yorktown, VA., operating with the Army in an attempt to take Mathews Court House up the East River
Subsequently serving as guard vessel in the York River and off neighboring coasts, the tug cooperated with the Army in landing troops on expeditions up to West Point
and enforced the blockade by patrolling the region
While operating in the Piankatank River on blockade duties, 17 August her commanding officer, Acting Master Hotchkiss fell mortally wounded by sniper fire
Subsequently towed to Yorktown, William G. Putnam was stationed at the mouth of Queen's Creek as part of the defense of Yorktown
Joined an expedition, 8 March 1864, to head up the Mattaponi River, convoying Army transports covering the landing of General Kilpatrick's troops at Sheppard's Landing
From mid-April to June 1864, William G. Putnam operated in joint Army-Navy operations in the James, Nansemond and Appomattox Rivers, covering the landings of troops
From 28 July 1864 on William G. Putnam operated on the James and Appomattox Rivers
Detached from the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, 8 March 1865, she patrolled the Rappahannock and St. Mary's Rivers
Decommissioned, 2 June 1865, at Washington Navy Yard
Purchased by the Treasury Department for service with the Lighthouse Board
Renamed USLHT General Putnam she was assigned to the 3rd Lighthouse District where she was rammed, sunk and raised at Wilmington, DE.
Reassigned to the 3rd Lighthouse District, her name was shortened to simply Putnam in September of 1869
Rebuilt and lengthened to 135 feet in 1877 prior to being transferred back to the 2nd Lighthouse District
Overhauled in New York in August 1880 and rebuilt yet again in 1889
Transferred her to the 7th Lighthouse District in March of 1891, based out of Key West
Taken out of service in 1891 and sold in 1893 for $1,825 entering merchant service as SS Putnam, operating until 1896.
Final Disposition, fate unknown
Displacement 149 t.
Depth of Hold unknown
Speed 7 kts
12 September 1861 one 32-pdr.
14 September 1861 one 20-pdr, one 20-pdr. Parrot rifle
13 May 1863 one 20-pdr. Parrott rifle, two 24-pdr. howitzers
2 June 1863 one 20-pdr. Parrott rifle, two 24-pdr. howitzers, one 12-pdr
Propulsion steam, two paddlewheels
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||Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1861 depicting former civilian tugs William G. Putnam and
Satellite being prepared for Naval service at New York City, circa July-September 1861.
US Navy History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59379
|US Navy History and Heritage Command
USS William G. Putnam
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
Last Updated 7 January 2017
This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo|