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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Island Belle

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Sidewheel Steamer:
  • Built, date and location unknown
  • Launched, date unknown
  • Purchased, 4 September 1861, at New York from Luther Adams
  • Fitted out at Washington Navy Yard
  • Commissioned, USS Island Belle, date unknown
  • Island Belle sailed 17 September to join the Potomac Flotilla
  • The steamer served in the Potomac as a tug and a dispatch boat
    Island Belle sailed to Hampton Roads, VA., 19 and 23 March 1862 escorting transports carrying troops to Fort Monroe
    During April and May Island Belle did reconnaissance work, searching the Virginia rivers between Washington and Richmond for information valuable to Union forces
  • 22 May, Island Belle transferred to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron
    Island Belle was assigned to duty in the James River, 25 May, where the Navy was supporting the left flank of General McClellan's advance up the peninsula toward Richmond
    Island Belle served in various capacities including reconnaissance Chickahominy River and other tributaries of the James, as a despatch boat, a coal carrier and as salvage tug to refloat ships which often ran aground .
    On 26 June, Island Belle steamed up the Appomattox River in an attempt to destroy the railroad bridge at Petersburg
  • Final Disposition, she ran hard aground, 26 June and after strenuous efforts failed to refloat her, she was burned, 28 June 1862, to prevent her falling into Confederate hands
    Displacement 123 t.
    Length 100'
    Beam 20'4"
    Depth of Hold 6'7"
    Draft unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement unknown
    one 32-pdr
    one 12-pdr rifle
    Propulsion steam, two paddlewheels

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