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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

Fern (I)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

  • Laid down in 1861 for the US Army at St. Louis, MO., as the tug Intrepid
  • Launched, date unknown
  • Acquired by the War Department, date unknown, Master Alpheus Amiss, officer in charge
  • Intrepid operated with the Western Flotilla until 1 October 1862 when all vessels were transferred to Navy control
  • Renamed Fern, 19 October 1862, Acting Ensign Alpheus Amiss, officer in charge
  • Under Navy command Fern was assigned to the Mississippi Squadron to operate on western waters between Cairo, Ill, and the mouth of the Red River
    Her service involved towing barges loaded with troops, delivering dispatches, transporting officers, and tending coal barges>
    During the joint expedition on the Yazoo Rive, 19 March 1863, Fern carried Major-General William T. Sherman up Steele's Bayou
    From August 1863 to May 1865 she was stationed off Natchez to tend and pump coal barges
    In June 1865 she participated in an expedition up the Red River to receive the surrender of Confederate Navy men and material
    Placed out of service, 12 August 1865, at Mound City, IL and later sold
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Displacement 50 t.
    Length unknown
    Beam unknown
    Depth of Hold unknown
    Draft 6'
    Speed 10 kts
    Complement unknown
    Armament one 12-pdr
    Propulsion steam

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    Size Image Description Source
    Fern 55k Halftone photograph of the tug Fern assisting a "city" class armored gunboat, on the Western Rivers during the Civil War. The original image caption's identification of the ironclad as USS Benton is in error. US Naval History and Heritage Command photo #: NH 54095. Courtesy of Frederick Way, Jr., October 1941. Robert Hurst

    Intrepid / Fern (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 13 January 2017