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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Vanderbilt

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Side-wheel Steamer:
  • Built by Jeremiah Simonson of Greenpoint, Long Island, N.Y., in 1856 and 1857 as a transatlantic passenger and mail steamer for North Atlantic Mail Steamship Line
  • Launched, date unknown
  • Charter by the US Army shortly after the start of the Civil War in April 1861
  • Acquired by the US Army from her owners, Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt in early 1862
  • Transferred to the US Navy, 24 March 1862, at Hampton Roads, VA.
  • USS Vanderbilt took steamers SS Peterhoff, 16 April 1862 and SS Gertrude, 30 October 1862 as prizes
  • Decommissioned at Mare Island, CA., 30 June 1866
  • Recommissioned, 13 October 1866
  • Placed in ordinary at Mare Island, 24 May 1867
  • Sold, 1 April 1873 to Howe & Company of San Francisco, renamed Three Brothers for service in the grain trade between San Francisco, Le Havre, Liverpool, and New York
  • Resold to successive owners until 1899
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping at Gibraltar in 1899
    Displacement 3,360 t.
    Length 331'
    Beam 47' 6"
    Draft 19'
    Speed 14 kts.
    Complement unknown
    As Built
    two 100-pdr Parrott rifles
    twelve 9" Dahlgren smoothbores
    one 12-pdr
    March 1865
    one 100-pdr Parrott rifle
    twelve 9" smoothbores
    two 30-pdr rifles
    Propulsion steam

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Merchant Service
    Cornelius Vanderbilt (May 27, 1794 January 4, 1877) was an American business magnate who built his wealth in railroads and shipping.
    Cornelius Vanderbilt, head-and-shoulders portrait, slightly to left, with side whiskers". Half plate daguerreotype, gold toned.
    Produced by Mathew Brady's studio, restored by Michel Vuijlsteke - This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3a11569.
    Tommy Trampp
    Vanderbilt 265k Pre-Civil War - Trans-Atlantic steamship SS Vanderbilt under way prior to her service in the American Civil War. Image by Samuel Ward Stanton (1870-1912) taken from "American Steam Vessels", page 146, from an image available on line from the Great Lakes Maritime Society. Robert Hurst
    Vanderbilt 322k Post Civil War - Hand-colored lithograph and print on paper entitled the clipper ship Three Brothers, 2,972 tons, the largest sailing ship in the world. Published by Currier & Ives, New York City circa 1875. Courtesy Bancroft Library, Berkeley, CA. Robert Hurst
    USS Vanderbilt
    Vanderbilt 168k USS Vanderbilt in port, during the Civil War.
    US Navy photo from the Silverstone Collection. U.S. Naval History and Heritage command Center. Photo from "Warships of The Civil war Navies" by Paul H. Silverstone
    Robert Hurst
    Vanderbilt 32k USS Vanderbilt at anchor, location unknown during the Civil War.
    US Navy photo
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Vanderbilt 132k USS Vanderbilt at anchor in 1861, location unknown.
    Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.
    Mike Green
    Maumee 94k "Bombardment of Fort Fisher" "Jan. 15th 1865"
    Lithograph after a drawing by T.F. Laycock, published by Endicott & Co., New York, 1865, depicting the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron bombarding Fort Fisher, North Carolina, in preparation for its capture. The print is dedicated to Commodore S.W. Godon, USN. Ships present, as named on the original print, are (from left to right in the main battle line):
    USS Tacony;
    USS Maumee;
    USS Ticonderoga;
    USS Shenandoah;
    USS Tuscarora;
    USS Juniata;
    USS Wabash;
    USS Susquehanna;
    USS Colorado;
    USS Minnesotaa;
    USS Brooklyn;
    USS New Ironsides and
    USS Mohican.
    Ships in the foreground are (left to right, from the center of the view):
    USS Powhatan;
    USS Mackinaw;
    USS Vanderbilt and
    USS Malvern (Flagship of Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter).
    Monitors in the right middle distance are:
    USS Monadnock (with two turrets);
    USS Mahopac;
    USS Saugus and
    USS Canonicus.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # LC-USZ62-144 from the collections of the Library of Congress.
    Bill Gonyo
    Pensacola 1833k Mare Island Navy Yard waterfront, circa 1873 to 1884 with USS Pensacola is in the foreground Ships present in the background from left to right are: USS Saranac, unidentified small ship (likely a revenue cutter), USS Vanderbilt (large side wheeler with her engines housed-over), several other unidentified ships at the yard's coal wharf and what appears to be the monitor USS Monadnock with main deck housed-over. Darryl Baker
    Vanderbilt 142k Line engraving by G. Parsons of USS Vanderbilt published in Harper's Weekly, 1862, depicting the ship at sea.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 58744
    Robert Hurst
    Vanderbilt 98k USS Vanderbilt under way, artwork by Clary Ray.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 60881
    Robert Hurst
    Vanderbilt 2253k USS Vanderbilt in ordinary off Navy Yard Mare Island, Vallejo, CA., circa 1873.
    US Navy photo
    Darryl Baker
    Vanderbilt 1850k Photo of a lithograph of USS Vanderbilt in ordinary off Navy Yard Mare Island, Vallejo, CA., circa 1873.
    US Navy photo
    Darryl Baker

    USS Vanderbilt
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 20 November 2020