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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Minnesota (I)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Merrimack-class Steam Screw Frigate:
  • Laid down in May 1854 at Washington Navy Yard
  • Launched, 1 December 1855
  • Commissioned, 21 May 1857, CAPT. Samuel F. Dupont in command
  • Assigned to the East India Squadron, carrying Minister to China William B. Reed to the Orient in July 1857
  • Decommissioned, 2 June 1859, at Boston Navy Yard
  • Recommissioned, 2 May 1861, CAPT. G. J. Van Brunt in command
  • During the Civil War USS Minnesota joined the Atlantic Blockading Squadron at Hampton Roads, 13 May
    Captured schooners Mary Willis, Delaware Farmer, and Emily Ann, 14 May
    Took bark Winfred 25 June and bark Sally McGee 26 June
    Captured schooner Sally Mears, 1 July and bark Mary Warick, 10 July 1861
    Successfully attacked Fort Clark, 28 August 1861, and Fort Hatteras, 29 August 1861 at Hatteras Inlet, N.C.
    During the Battle of Hampton Roads, Minnesota grounded and was attacked by Confederate warships including CSS Virginia (ex-USS Merrimack)
    Participated in the attacks on Fort Fisher in December 1864 and January 1865
  • Decommissioned, 16 February 1865, at Portsmouth, N.H.
  • Recommissioned, 3 June 1867, for a midshipman cruise to Europe
  • Placed in ordinary at New York Navy Yard, 13 January 1868
  • Recommissioned, 12 June 1875, at New York Navy Yard, to serve as gunnery and training ship for naval apprentices
  • Loaned in October 1895 to the Massachusetts Naval Militia
  • Sold in August 1901, to Thomas Butler & Co. of Boston
  • Final Disposition, burned at Eastport, Maine
    Displacement 4,833 t.
    Length 264' 9"
    Beam 51' 4"
    Depth 646
    Draft 23' 10"
    Speed unknown
    Complement unknown
    May 1861
    one 10" smoothbore
    twenty-eight 9" smoothbores
    fourteen 8"/63 guns
    two 24-pdr smoothbores
    two12-pdr smoothbores
    December 1862
    one 200-pdr muzzle loading rifle
    one 11" smoothbore
    four 100-pdr muzzle loading rifles
    thirty-six 9" smoothbores
    July 1863
    one 150-pdr muzzle loading rifle
    one 11" smoothbore
    four100-pdr muzzle loading rifles
    thirty-eight 9" smoothbores
    two 12-pdr rifled howitzer
    two 12-pdr howitzer smoothbores
    October 1863
    four 9" Smoothbores added
    two horizontal trunk engines (79.5" x 3')
    four boilers 974 IHP

    Click On Image
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    Size Image Description
    Minnesota 232k Wood block print of USS Minnesota titled "THE UNITED STATES WAR STEAMER MINNESOTA, FLAG-SHIP OF THE BLOCKADING SQUADRON", published in "Harper's Weekly" August 1861. Tommy Trampp
    Narragansett 223k "The Great Expedition -- The Vessels at Anchor at Hampton Roads Previous to the Departure". Line engraving published in Harper's Weekly, July-December 1861 volume, page 725. It consists of two views of Flag Officer DuPont's squadron at Hampton Roads, VA., prior to leaving, 29 October 1861 to capture Port Royal, S.C. Ships and geographical features, as identified below the images, are (upper engraving, from left to right):
    ferry boats,
    store ship,
    steamer SS Marion,
    USS Seminole,
    steamer SS Ben Deford,
    tug Grapeshot,
    Fort Monroe,
    USS Narragansett,
    USS Alabama,
    USS Pawnee, and
    new ("90-Day") gunboats.

    (lower engraving, from left to right):
    store ship,
    SS Vanderbilt,
    steam tug (foreground),
    store ship,
    steamer Winfield Scott,
    steamer Atlantic,
    USS Minnesota,
    steamer SS Baltic,
    USS Relief,
    USS Wabash,
    USS R.B. Forbes,
    steamer SS Oriental,
    steamer SS Matanzas,
    steamer SS Philadelphia,
    and the Rip Raps.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo #: NH 59317
    Robert Hurst
    Minnesota 146k "Departure of the Great Southern Expedition, under General Butler, from Fortress Monroe". Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1861". depicting the departure of the fleet, 26 August 1861, en route to attack Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina. Ships identified in the title line are (left to right):
    USS Harriet Lane;
    USS Wabash;
    USS Minnesota;
    USS Monticello and
    USS Pawnee and
    Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # 58130
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Cumberland 93k "Bombardment of Forts Hatteras & Clark, by the U.S. Fleet" "Under the command of Flag Officer Silas H. Stringham, on the 28th and 29th of August 1861" A colored lithograph by J.P. Newell after a drawing by Francis Garland, Seaman in USF Cumberland, published by J.H. Buford, Boston, Massachusetts, 1862. Features identified below the image are (from left to right):
    USS Susquehanna;
    tug Fanny;
    Fort Hatteras;
    USS Harriet Lane;
    Fort Clark;
    USS Cumberland;
    steamer Adelaide;
    USS Minnesota;
    steamer George Peabody;
    USS Wabash;
    USS Pawnee; and
    USS Monticello.
    Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # 66576-KN (Color)
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Minnesota 522k USS Minnesota (center), USS Susquehanna, USS Pawnee and other Union warships bombard Confederate forts during the Battle of Hatteras Inlet Batteries.
    Image from the book 'Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, p.667, being for the most part contributions by Union and Confederate officers, based upon the Century War Series, volume 1, by Robert Underwood Johnson and Clarence Clough Buel. Image courtesy of the British Library from its Digital Collection.
    Robert Hurst
    Minnesota 280k Image from Harper's Weekly depicting one of the Cheeney-designed, Richmond-built, Confederate submarines, attempting to attack the steam frigate USS Minnesota, flagship of Federal squadron blockading the mouth of the James River, in early October 1861.
    Photo courtesy of Straford Archive.
    Robert Hurst
    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 Minnesota;
    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
    Minnesota 241k USS Minnesota as she appeared in 1871. Note the trim, compact lines, the guns in open gun ports.
    US National Archives photo. Photo and text from"Warships of The Civil War Navies" by Paul H. Silverstone.
    Robert Hurst
    Marion 79k Lithograph after a drawing by Joseph L. Jones, circa 1877-1880 depicting a Naval Review in Hampton-Roads, VA. dedicated to Secretary of the Navy Richard W. Thompson. Ships present include (from left):
    USS Marion,
    USS Tallapoosa (flying the Secretary of the Navy's Flag),
    USS Constitution,
    USS Kearsarge,
    USS Saratoga,
    USS Powhatan,
    USS Portsmouth and
    USS Minnesota.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 61193. Courtesy of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936.
    Robert Hurst
    Minnesota 442k Reproduction of an engraving originally published in "Harper's Weekly", 27 April 1878, depicting scenes on board USS Minnesota, which was then serving as training ship for Naval Apprentices at the New York Navy Yard.
    The central image, showing the firing of broadside guns, is surrounded by vignettes, the subjects of which include (clockwise from upper left): Captain Stephen B. Luce, Negro Stewards, "A Waltz among the Guns", lessons in clothing making, the ship's Doctor greeting ladies, a boxing class, "The Ancient Armorer" supervising firearms cleaning (he is holding what appears to be a Remington single-shot rifle), medical "Examination for Admission", and "Single Stick Exercise".
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 46018.
    Robert Hurst
    Minnesota 316k Scenes from aboard the training ship USS Minnesota. Robert Hurst
    Minnesota 92k Massachusetts naval militia training ship USS Minnesota dressed in flags, probably for a national holiday, location unknown. Tommy Trampp
    Minnesota 117k USS Minnesota housed over as a training hulk, possibly while assigned to the Massachusetts Naval Militia in 1895-1901.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo # NH 106687, donation of Charles R. Haberlein Jr., 2009.
    Mike Green
    Minnesota 291k The cast brass bell from USS Minnesota. The bell is engraved with "Minnesota U.S.W.N.Y 1856".
    Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society.
    Robert Hurst
    Minnsota 161k USS Minnesota 20 Stamp, Marshall Islands, 1997.
    Great Fighting Ships of the 50 States appear on a sheet of stamps issued by the Marshall Islands to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the establishment of the US Department of the Navy in 1798.
    Tommy Trampp

    USS Minnesota (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. DuPont Samuel F. 21 May 1857 - ?
    02CAPT. Van Brunt, G. J.2 May 1861 - ?
    03CAPT. Luce, Stephen B.1876
    Courtesy Bill Gonyo

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    USS Minnesota Letterhead and the Navy's First Media Specialist
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 24 January 2020