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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Memphis (II)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Screw Steamer:
  • Built by William Denny & Bros., Dumbarton, Scotland, in 1861
  • Captured by USS Magnolia while running the blockade from Charleston, S.C., with a cargo of cotton 31 July 1862
  • Purchased by the US Navy from a prize court at New York 4 September 1862
  • Commissioned USS Memphis, 4 October 1862, Acting Volunteer LT. Pendleton G. Watmough, in command
  • Memphis was assigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron
  • Captured British steamer Ouachita, 14 October 1862 bound for Havana
  • Joined USS Quaker City, 4 January 1863, in taking Confederate sloop Mercury with a cargo of turpentine for Nassau.
  • Attacked by Confederate torpedo boat CSS David, 6 March 1864, while on blockade duty in North Edisto River, S.C. with no apparent damage
  • Decommissioned, 6 May 1867
  • Sold to V. Brown & Co., at New York, 8 May 1869. Renamed SS Mississippi, operating as a freight
  • Final Disposition, gutted by a deck fire, 13 May 1883,at Seattle, WA, and her wreck abandoned.
    Displacement 791 t.
    Length 227'
    Beam 30' 1"
    Depth of Hold 11' 5"
    Draft unknown
    Speed 14 kts
    Complement unknown
    Armament seven guns
    Propulsion steam

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Vicksburg 82k Wash drawing by R.G. Skerrett, 1902, depicting USS Memphis underway during the Civil War.
    US Navy History and Heritage Command photo # NH 46205.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Vicksburg 82k "Our Prize Fleet, consisting of British Vessels captured while trying to run the Blockade."
    Engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1862 volume. It depicts (from left to right) the blockade runners Petrel, Memphis, Elizabeth, Ella Warly, Patras, Alliance, Ann, Stettin, Circassian and Tubal Cain. Three of these vessels, Memphis, Stettin and Circassian later served in the U.S. Navy.
    US Navy History and Heritage Command photo # NH 59365.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Vicksburg 65k SS Mississippi watercolor by Erik Heyl, 1951, painted for use in his book "Early American Steamers", Volume I. Originally the blockade runner SS Memphis, built in England in 1862, she was USS Memphis from 1862-1869. After sale by the Navy she became the commercial steamer SS Mississippi and was destroyed by fire in 1883. Courtesy of Erik Heyl.
    US Navy History and Heritage Command photo # NH 63881.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command

    USS Memphis II
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 12 November 2021