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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive
USS John Griffith
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons
Civil War Medal
Built as the wooden schooner John Griffith, date and location unknown
Launched, date unknown
Purchased by the Navy,16 September 1861, at New York from B. P. Woolsey
Commissioned, 20 January 1862, at New York Navy Yard, LT. K. Randolph Breese in command
John Griffith joined CDR. David Porter's Mortar Flotilla at Key West, FL.
The schooner sailed with the rest of the flotilla from Key West 3 March and on 11 March anchored at Ship Island, MS.
A week later John Griffith was towed across the bar at Pass a l'Outre with Porter's other mortar schooners
The mortar boats moved into position 18 April and opened fire on Forts Jackson and St. Philip, John Griffith, was placed along the western bank of the river just below the lower limit of Fort Jackson's fire
John Griffith pressed the attack leading the ships of her division on 4 days of the week long bombardment
Porter's flotilla retired down the Mississippi via Ship Island to Pensacola, FL.
John Griffith and the rest of the flotilla soon returned to the Mississippi to support Farragut's expedition up the Mississippi at Vicksburg
On 20 June, the schooners began shelling Confederate batteries as Farragut raced past the fortified city to meet Flag Officer Davis' Western Flotilla
John Griffith continued to serve the West Gulf Blockading Squadron until ordered north 18 May 1864
Decommissioned for repairs 1 June
Re-commissioned 23 August 1864
On 24 August,the schooner received orders to sail to Port Royal for service in the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron
John Griffith arrived at Port Royal on 8 September and served on blockade duty at the mouth of the Altamaha and Savannah Rivers, GA.
On 17 September, John Griffith and USS Sonoma shelled Fort Beaulieu, the Confederate fortress defending the mouths
of the Vernon and Burnside Rivers, until the defenders evacuated 21 December
The schooner remained on blockade duty until after the end of the war
Decommissioned, 21 August 1865, and sold at public auction at Boston Navy Yard to C. Foster 8 September 1865
Final Disposition, fate unknown
Displacement 240 t
Depth of Hold 8'4"
one 13" mortar
two 12-pdr howitzers
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||"Commander Porter's Mortar Flotilla".
Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting the mortar schooner flotilla commanded by David Dixon Porter during the April 1862 attack on the
forts below New Orleans.
Vessels shown are (from left to right):
USS Adolph Hugel,
USS William Bacon,
USS Oliver H. Lee,
USS C.P. Williams,
USS Henry Janes,
USS George Mangham,
USS Horace Beals,
USS Sarah Bruen,
USS Samuel Rotan,
USS John Griffith,
USS Rachel Seaman,
USS Maria J. Carlton,
USS Sidney C. Jones,
USS T.A. Ward,
USS Sea Foam,
USS Maria A. Wood,
USS Octorara (Porter's flagship) and
USS Matthew Vassar.
US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 59061
USS John Griffith
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
Last Updated 12 May 2017
This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo|