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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Kensington (II)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Screw Steamer:
  • Built in 1858 as the wooden hulled steamer Kensington at Philadelphia by J. W. Lynn
  • Launched, date unknown
  • Purchased by the Navy at Boston 27 January 1862
  • Commissioned USS Kensington, 15 February 1862, Acting Master Frederick Crocker in command
  • USS Kensington departed Boston 24 February, for the Gulf of Mexico stopping at Charleston for repairs before taking up her assignment with the West Gulf Blockading Squadron at New Orleans on 4 May
  • Kensington ascended the Mississippi River exchanging cannon fire with Confederate batteries at Ellis Cliffs, MS. while towing two of CDR. David Porter's mortar boats to Vicksburg
  • Kensington remained at Vicksburg with Porter's flotilla issuing water and supplies
  • In mid-July, the water and supply ship visited blockaders stationed along the Louisiana and Texas coast
  • 24 and 25 September, she joined USS Rachel Seaman and Henry James in bombarding Confederate batteries at Sabine Pass, TX.
  • In September and October, Kensington captured British blockade running schooners Velocity, Adventure, Dart, and West Florida, Confederate schooners Conchita, Dart, and Mary Ann, sloop Eliza and steamer Dan
  • On 11 November, Kensington captured Confederate schooner Course and British schooner Maria the next day
  • In June 1863, Kensington set sail for New York for long needed repairs
  • Reassigned as supply ship to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, 1 August 1864
  • In December 1864 and January 1865, Kensington sailed from Boston as a transport to Southern ports
  • Decommissioned, 5 May 1865, sold at public auction at New York to Brown & Co. 12 July 1865 and redocumented 31 July
  • Final Disposition, SS Kensington sank after colliding with an unknown sailing vessel at sea 27 January 1871
    Displacement 1,053 t.
    Length 195'
    Beam 31'10"
    Depth of Hold unknown
    Draft 18'
    Speed 10 kts
    Complement 72
    two 32-pdrs
    one 30-pdr Parrott rifle

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Kensington (II) 109k Water color painting by Erik Heyl. 1951 of SS Kensington for his book "Early American Steamers", vol. I and vol. V.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo #NH 63702. Courtesy of Erik Heyl.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command

    USS Kensington (II)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01Acting MASTER Crocker, Frederick15 February 1862 - ?
    02Acting MASTER Rockwell, John E.1864 - 5 May 1865

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    Last Updated 21 April 2017