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Light House Tender Photo Archive

USLHT Cactus
ex-USS Cactus

Cactus served both the U.S. Navy and the Light House Establishment

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Civil War Medal

Sidewheel Steamer:
  • Built by unknown builder, Brooklyn, NY
  • Completed as steam tug Polar Star, October 1863
  • Purchased by Navy from Palmer & H.H. Geary at New York for $38,000, 09 December 1863
  • Commissioned, USS Cactus, 04 May 1864, Acting Master N. Graham in command
  • Assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron
  • Served as a supply ship and tender in Hampton Roads until 28 May 1864
  • While assigned to guard Army communications on York River, engaged Confederate batteries along the Pamunkey River
  • Operated in Hampton Roads, 23 June 1864 - April 1865
  • Reassigned to the Potomac Flotilla, April 1865
  • Decommissioned at Washington Navy Yard, 08 June 1865
  • Transferred to the Light House Board, 20 June 1865
  • Commissioned USLHT Cactus, 1865
  • Served as supply and inspection tender in 2nd Lighthouse District, 1865 - 1870
  • Rebuilt, 1870
  • Assigned to 3rd Lighthouse District, 1870 - 1909
  • Refitted, 1882 and 1887
  • Decommissioned and sold for $1,025, 1909
  • Documented as freighter Prospect (ON 207348), 14 April 1910
  • Homeport shifted to Philadelphia, about 1918
  • Final disposition, abandoned, 1921
    Displacement 176 tons
    1910 - 188 tons

    Length 140' 7"
    Beam 22' 6"
    1910 - 21.4'

    Draft 7' 6"
    1910 - 8.3'

    Speed 15 knots
    Complement unknown
    one 30-pdr
    two 12-pdrs
    Propulsion one-cylinder steam walking beam (31" x 84")
    one coal-fired boiler, paddlewheels

    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Cactus 49k USLHT Cactus, underway, date and location unknown. Bill Gonyo
    Cactus 93k U.S. Lighthouse Establishment photo from U.S. Lighthouse Society website John Spivey

    View the USLHT Cactus
    Coast Guard history entry located on the USCG Historian's Office website
    Back to the Main Photo Index Back to the Light House Tender Photo Index

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    This page was created by Joseph M. Radigan and is maintained by David L. Wright
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 10 November 2022