Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster. Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.

NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Heliotrope

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Sidewheel Steamer:
  • Built, date and location unknown as the wooden steamer Maggie Baker
  • Launched, date unknown
  • Purchased for the Navy by RADM. Gregory from her owner, Stacey Pitcher, at New York, 16 December 1863
  • Fitted out at the New York Navy Yard
  • Commissioned USS Heliotrope, 24 April 1864 at New York Navy Yard USS Heliotrope was assigned initially to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, and sailed soon after her commissioning to Hampton Roads, Va., where she served as a tug and ordnance boat. She continued this duty with occasional patrols up the James River, until her transfer to the Potomac Flotilla 23 January 1865.
  • Heliotrope reported for her new duties early in February, and participated 6-8 March in a joint expedition up the Rappahannock River to Fredericksburg. In cooperation with Army units, Heliotrope and the other gunboats succeeded in destroying railroad facilities, a large quantity of track, and a depot of army supplies
  • Returning to routine patrolling in the Potomac, she embarked with other gunboats on another expedition 16 March, sending her small boats with about 50 men up Mattox Creek. Three schooners and various types of supplies were captured or destroyed on this 2-day foray
  • Heliotrope continued her vital work of Choking off Confederate supplies in the Potomac River area until mid-April, when she steamed for New York, arriving 20 April
  • Heliotrope decommissioned, 12 January 1865
  • She was sold 17 June 1865 to the Department of the Treasury for use with the Lighthouse Service
  • Assigned to the 5th Lighthouse District
  • Decommissioned, 10 November 1881
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Displacement 239 t.
    Length 134'
    Beam 24'6"
    Depth of Hold 6'8"
    Draft unknown
    Speed 6 kts
    Complement 84
    one 12-pdr rifle
    one 30-pdr Parrott rifle (added April 1865)
    one inclined steam engine, cylinder diameter 28", stroke 48"
    two sidewheels

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    SizeImage Description Contributed
    There are no images of Heliotrope available at NavSource

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Old Navy" Steam and Sail Index
    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail Webmaster.
    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 10 June 2022