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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
    Specifications:
    Displacement 1,244 t.
    Length 200'
    Beam 34'6"
    Depth of Hold 20'8"
    Draft 13'9"
    Speed 11 kts
    Complement 164
    Armament
    one 100-pdr Parrott rifle
    six 32-pdrs
    two 12-pdr rifles
    Propulsion steam

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    Size Image Description Contributed
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    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