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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS George W. Rodgers

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

  • Built, date and location unknown
  • Launched, date unknown
  • The blockade runner Shark, was captured by the screw steamer USS South Carolina off Galveston, TX., 4 July 1861
  • Sent to New York, she arrived 24 August
  • Sold to a private purchaser 5 November
  • Chartered by the Navy under a civilian master, Shark served during 1862 and 1863 as a dispatch ship with the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron
  • Purchased by the Navy off Charleston, 5 September 1863, to be sunk as an obstruction in Charleston harbor, she was however, retained
  • Renamed George W. Rodgers, she sailed to Port Royal, S.C., for arming and repairs
  • Commissioned USS George W. Rodgers at Port Royal, 17 January 1865, Acting Master Loring G. Emerson in command
  • George W. Rodgers served as a picket boat along the coast of Georgia in the sounds and rivers
  • George W. Rodgers joined Coast Survey steamer Bibb between February and May on a coastal survey in the sounds and rivers of the Georgia coast
  • She resumed picket duty 2 May and operated along the Georgia and Florida coasts until departing for Boston 25 July
  • George W. Rodgers arrived at Boston Navy Yard 7 August
  • Decommissioned 16 August, 1865
  • Sold to C. H. Miller by public auction 8 September
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Displacement 87 t.
    Length unknown 76'
    Beam unknown 22'
    Depth of Hull unknown
    Draft 6'
    Speed unknown
    Complement unknown
    Armament two 20-pounder Dahlgren rifles
    Propulsion sail

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    George W. Rodgers
    George W. Rodgers - born 20 October 1822 in Brooklyn, N.Y., was commissioned Midshipman 14 October 1839. Prior to the Civil War, he served in various ships in foreign squadrons and was Commandant of Midshipmen at Annapolis in 1861. Promoted to Commander 16 July 1862, he took command of USS Catskill, a single-turreted monitor, 24 February 1863 and joined the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron off the South Carolina coast. With Rear Admiral J. A. Dahlgren embarked, Catskill led a furious naval bombardment 10 July against Confederate defenses on Morris Island, Charleston harbor. During the attack, withering Confederate fire hit Catskill more than 60 times, piercing the deck in several places. Despite her "severe" damage, Rodgers renewed the attack the following day to "prevent reinforcements and ammunition" from reaching Fort Wagner. Appointed Fleet Captain 20 July, Rodgers resumed command of Catskill 17 August as Union forces continued the attack against Fort Wagner. Early in the bombardment, a Confederate shot struck the top of Catskill's pilot house, bursting the plates and killing Captain Rodgers instantly. The only officer during the Civil War to lose his life in a monitor as a result of enemy gunfire, "he fell." wrote Admiral Dahlgren, "as a brave man, at his post in battle, and for the flag to which he had devoted his whole life." Photo - US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 46952 "An 1862 or 1863 photograph by C.D. Fredericks, New York City"
    US Naval History and Heritage Command

    USS George W. Rodgers
    Dictionary of American Navy Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 20 August 2021