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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Wyandotte
USS Western Port (1858 - 1859)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Screw Steamer:
  • Built in 1853 as the commercial steamer SS Western Port at Philadelphia, PA.
  • Chartered by the Navy in autumn of 1858 for a punitive naval expedition to Asuncion, Paraguay
  • Fitted out as a gunboat and commissioned USS Western Port, 27 October 1858, CDR. Thomas T. Hunter in command
  • Western Port was present at Asuncion, 25 January 1859
  • Decommissioned, 28 May 1859
  • Purchased by the Navy, 6 June 1859, renamed Wyandotte
  • Commissioned, USS Wyandotte, 19 September 1859
  • Assigned to the Home Squadron cruising the Caribbean to suppress the slave trade
    Captured barque William, 9 May 1860, carrying 570 Africans
    During the latter part of 1860 and the first four months of 1861Wyandotte was active off Florida, protecting US Government facilities during the secession crisis
    Refused to surrender while at Pensacola Navy Yard when Confederate forces took over the yard in January 1861
  • Wyandotte joined the Gulf Blockading Squadron, 17 May 1861
  • Arrived at New York Navy Yard, 23 August 1861, for major repairs
  • Joined the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron in December 1861
  • Arrived at New York, 25 July 1862, for extensive repairs
  • Joined the Potomac River Flotilla in September 1862
  • Reassigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, 7 October 1862, deploying off Fort Monroe, VA
  • Condemned as unfit for guard duty, 3 October 1863, Wyandotte spent the remainder of the war off Norfolk, VA.
  • Decommissioned at New York Navy Yard, 3 June 1865
  • Struck from the Naval Register and sold at auction in New York, 12 July 1865
  • Redocumented for merchant service, 23 September 1865
  • Final Disposition, stranded when she ran aground off Duxbury, Mass., 26 January 1866, damaged beyond economical repair
    Displacement 464 t.
    Length unknown
    Beam unknown
    Depth of Hold unknown
    Draft unknown
    Speed 7 kts
    Complement unknown
    one 24-pdr Dahlgren howitzer
    Propulsion steam
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Wyandotte 76k Artwork by Erik Heyl, 1955, depicting SS Western Port for use in his book "Early American Steamers", Volume III. This steamer was chartered by the Navy in 1858 for the Paraguay expedition. Purchased in 1859, she served as USS Wyandotte from then until sold in 1865. Subsequently the civilian steam ship SS Wyandotte, she was wrecked, 26 January 1866.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 67075 Courtesy of Erik Heyl.
    Bill Gonyo
    Sabine (I) 358k Ships of The Paraguay Squadron under way. Ships are from left to right:
    USS Water Witch next the flag-ship
    USS Sabine; next to
    USS Fulton; behind Fulton is
    USS Western Port (later USS Wyandotte); next is
    USS Harriet Lane; behind Harriet Lane is
    USS Supply; and next the bow of
    USS Memphis.
    Artist unknown. Image from Harper's Weekly, New York, 16 October 1858.
    Robert Hurst
    Wyandotte 104k "The United States Gun-boat 'Wyandotte' firing a Salute on Washington's Birthday in Pensacola Harbor -- (Drawn by an Officer of Lieut. Slemmer's Command)" Hand-colored print of a line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1861. Features identified in text immediately below the image are (left to right): Fort Barrancas, Barrancas Barracks, Unites States Gun-boat "Wyandotte", and Unites States Marine Hospital.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59580-KN
    Bill Gonyo
    Wyandotte 140k "The United States Fleet off Fort Pickens, Florida" A line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1861, depicting U.S. Navy ships off Pensacola, Florida, in April 1861. Federal troops were landed at Fort Pickens on 12 April. Ships identified in the title line are (left to right): USS Wyandotte (partially visible); USS Supply (in the distance); USS Sabine; USS Brooklyn and USS Crusader (partially visible).
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59121
    Bill Gonyo
    Wyandotte 157k Right half of a line engraving published in "Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper", 1861, depicting the scene off Pensacola in mid-April 1861. Features identified in text immediately below the image are (left to right): USS Sabine, USS St. Louis, USS Supply, USS Wyandotte (incorrectly depicted as a side-wheel steamer), Pensacola Navy Yard, and the chartered steamship SS Atlantic (USS Sumpter).
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 73743
    Bill Gonyo
    Wyandotte 146k "Relief of Fort Pickens, Santa Rosa Island, Fla., by the United States Fleet, April 17th 1861" A line engraving published in "The Soldier in Our Civil War", Volume I, depicting the scene off Pensacola as USS Powhatan landed Federal troops to reinforce Fort Pickens on 17 April 1861. Features identified in text immediately below the image are (left to right): USS Powhatan, USS Wyandotte, Fort McRae, Entrance to Harbor, Fort Pickens, Encampment of Confederates, Lighthouse, Steamer SS Illinois and Navy Foundry. This engraving was originally published in 1861 in "Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper", with text giving an incorrect date in March 1861.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59114
    Bill Gonyo

    USS Wyandotte (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Hunter, Thomas T.27 October 1858 - 28 May 1859
     Decommissioned28 May 1859 - 19 September 1859
    02LCDR. Stanly, Fabius19 September 1859 - December 1860
     Out of ServiceDecember 1860 - 9 January 1861
    03LT. Berryman, Otway Hazlehurst9 January 1861 - 2 April 1861 (Died)
    04LT. Mullany, Robert Madison7 April 1861 - 17 April 1861
    05LT. Williamson, James C.17 April 1861 - 2 May 1861
    06CDR. Baldwin, Augustus S.2 May 1861 - 23 August 1861
     Decommissioned23 August 1861 - 5 December 1861
    07LT. McArann, Robert M.5 December 1861 - 22 January 1862 (Dismissed went South)
    08LT. Whiting, William D.22 January 1862 - 25 July 1862
     Decommissioned25 July 1862 - 1 September 1862
    09Act. Master Wright, Thomas1 September 1862 - 3 October 1863
    10Act. Master Sheer, Thomas W.3 October 1863 - 18 March 1865
    11LCDR. White, Edward W.18 March 1865 - 3 June 1865
    Courtesy Bill Gonyo

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    Last Updated 21 April 2017