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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Peterhoff

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Iron Sidewheel Steamer:
  • Built for the Tsar of Russia by C. J. Mare & Co., Blackwall, London, with 140 hp steam engines by J & G. Rennie.
  • Launched in 1850
  • During her delivery voyage to Saint Petersburg, Peterhoff was driven ashore on Saaremaa, 1 November 1850.
  • Refloated in the spring of 1851 and taken to Riga, where temporary repairs were made
  • Departing in early July, she reached London, 17 July were she was acquired by British interests and fitted out as a cargo ship
  • SS Peterhoff departed Falmouth, England, 27 January 1863
  • Boarded and searched by USS Alabama, 20 February 1863, off Saint Thomas in the Danish West Indies
  • Finding Peterhoff's papers in order Alabama allowed her to continue into the harbor at St. Thomas
  • Peterhoff departed St. Thomas with papers indicating that she was bound for Matamoros, Mexico
  • She was again boarded by an American warship, this time by USS Vanderbilt 26 February
  • Vanderbilt found sufficient justification to seize the ship as a blockade runner when a sailor aboard let slip that the ship was actually bound for Brownsville, TX.
  • Peterhoff was taken to Key West where she was eventually condemned by the New York court and bought by the Union Navy
  • Commissioned USS Peterhoff in February 1864, Acting-Volunteer Lieutenant Thomas Pickering in command and assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron
  • Peterhoff departed Hampton Roads, VA., 28 February 1864 joining the blockade at Wilmington, N.C.
  • Mistaken as a blockade runner the morning of 6 March 1864 she was rammed and sunk by USS Monticello
  • The wreck of Peterhoff was rediscovered by divers in 1963 in 30 ft of water off Kure Beach, N.C.
  • The wreck site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975
    Displacement 416 t.
    Length 210'
    Beam 28'
    Draft 15'
    Depth of Hold unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement unknown
    at least one 30-pdr Parrott rifle
    at least three 32-pdr smoothbore cannons
    one 140hp reciprocating steam engine
    two sidewheels

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    27k Painting of the iron steam yacht Peterhoff underway Robert Hurst

    USS Peterhoff
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 25 September 2020