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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Grand Gulf

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Screw Steamer:
  • Built, date unknown, as SS Onward by Cornelius and Richard Poillon, location unknown
  • Launched, date unknown
  • Purchased by the Navy at New York, 14 September 1863, from her builders
  • Commissioned, 28 September 1863, at New York, CDR. George Ransom in command
  • USS Grand Gulf joined the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron off Wilmington, N.C. , 20 October 1863
  • Grand Gulf remained on blockade duty off Wilmington with intervals for repair
    On 21 November 1863, assisted by Army Transport Fulton, Grand Gulf took blockade runner Banshee
    On 6 March 1864, Grand Gulf captured the British steamer Mary Ann
    On 6 May, Grand Gulf took the British ship Young Republic
  • Returning to New York, 4 August 1864, she was ordered out in search of the Confederate raider Tallahassee
  • Claimed the brig Billow as a prize, 17 August 1864
  • On 23 September and again on 24 October Grand Gulf departed New York convoying the California steamer Ocean Queen to Aspinwall, Panama
  • On 15 November, one day out of New York Grand Gulf took into tow the sinking British bark Linden
  • On 16 November she entered New York Navy Yard for extensive repairs
  • From 8 to 12 March 1865 towed ironclad Casco from New York to Hampton Roads
  • Joined the West Gulf Blockading Fleet off Galveston on 4 April 1865 and remained on blockade duty until 25 June
  • Grand Gulf steamed to New Orleans where she served as a prison ship and site for courts martial until 18 October
  • Decommissioned 10 November 1865 at New York and was sold 30 November to C. Comstock & Co.
  • Resold to William F. Feld & Co. of Boston; renamed SS General Grant and put in service for the Merchants of Boston SS. Co. operating between Boston and New Orleans
  • Final Disposition, burned and sank at a wharf in New Orleans 19 April 1869
    Displacement 1,200 t.
    Length 210'4"
    Beam 34' 6"
    Depth of Hold 20'6"
    Draft unknown
    Speed 11.5 kts
    one 100=pdr
    two 30-pdrs
    three 8" guns
    steam, single screw

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    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Grand Gulf 71k Watercolor by Erik Heyl, 1951 of SS General Grant, painted for use in his book "Early American Steamers", Volume I. Built as the steamship Onward, this ship served as USS Grand Gulf in 1863-1865. She was renamed General Grant after her return to merchant service in 1865.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 63847. Courtesy of Erik Heyl.
    Robert Hurst

    USS Grand Gulf
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 21 April 2017