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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Nereus (I)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Screw Steamer:
  • Built as a screw steamer at New York in 1863
  • Purchased by the Navy, 5 October 1863, from William P. Williams
  • Commissioned, USS Nereus, 19 April 1864, at New York Navy Yard, CDR. J. C. Howell in command
  • Nereus joined the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron at Hampton Roads 28 April
  • She was assigned to the New Inlet station in the blockade of Wilmington, N. C.
  • Nereus remained on station off Wilmington until getting under way for New York 17 August
  • Nereus escorted steamer SS North Star to Aspinwall and returned to New York on the 26 August for overdue repairs
  • She departed New York escorting USS Dictator to Hampton Roads
  • From Norfolk she towed monitor USS Saugus to Wilmington for the attack on Fort Fisher
  • Arriving Christmas morning, Nereus joined in the bombardment of the Confederate works in support the unsuccessful amphibious attack
  • Nereus lingered in the North Carolina sounds until the second successful attack against Fort Fisher 13 January
  • On 17 January, Nereus got under way towing monitor USS Mahopac to Charleston
  • Nereus, after taking on stores and coal at Beaufort, headed to the Bahamas to cruise near Mayaguana Passage seeking to capture Confederate cruiser CSS Shenandoah
  • She sailed north 11 April, via Key West. She arrived New York 7 May
  • Decommissioned at New York, 15 May 1865
  • Sold at public auction to James Hooper. Redocumented as SS Somerset 28 September 1865, the steamer remained in merchant service until 1881
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Displacement 1,244 t.
    Length 200'
    Beam 34'6"
    Depth of Hold 20'8"
    Draft 13'9"
    Speed 11 kts
    Complement 164
    one 100-pdr Parrott rifle
    six 32-pdrs
    two 12-pdr rifles
    Propulsion steam

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Nereus 73k Watercolor of the steamship SS Somerset by Erik Heyl, painted for use in his book "Early American Steamers", Volume I. This steamer served as USS Nereus in 1854-1854 and had a long commercial career after the Civil War.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 63854 Courtesy of Erik Heyl
    US Naval History and Heritage Command

    USS Nereus (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 31 March 2017