|Laid down:||date unknown|
|Acquired:||14 June 1864|
|In service:||circa 14 June 1864|
|Out of service:||20 November 1865|
|Fate:||sold, 16 April 1867|
|Draught:||depth of hold 7' 9"|
USS Harcourt (1864) was a small steamship acquired by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She was placed into service as a tugboat and assigned to the blockade of ports of the Confederate States of America.
A steamship, often referred to as a steamer, is a type of steam powered vessel, typically ocean-faring and seaworthy, that is propelled by one or more steam engines that typically move (turn) propellers or paddlewheels. The first steamships came into practical usage during the early 1800s; however, there were exceptions that came before. Steamships usually use the prefix designations of "PS" for paddle steamer or "SS" for screw steamer. As paddle steamers became less common, "SS" is assumed by many to stand for "steam ship". Ships powered by internal combustion engines use a prefix such as "MV" for motor vessel, so it is not correct to use "SS" for most modern vessels.
The Union Navy was the United States Navy (USN) during the American Civil War, when it fought the Confederate States Navy (CSN). The term is sometimes used carelessly to include vessels of war used on the rivers of the interior while they were under the control of the United States Army, also called the Union Army.
The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U.S. history. Primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.
While on blockade duty, she performed other services, as required, such as patrolling and carrying personnel back and forth between ships and shore and providing the services of a dispatch boat.
Dispatch boats were small boats, and sometimes large ships, tasked to carry military dispatches from ship to ship or from ship to shore or, in some cases from shore to shore. Dispatch boats were employed when other means of transmitting a message was not possible or safe or as quick.
Harcourt, a screw tug, was purchased by the Navy at New York City from a private owner 14 June 1864. Her first commanding officer was Acting Ensign J. A. Chadwick.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States and in the U.S. state of New York. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
The commanding officer (CO) or sometimes, if the incumbent is a general officer, commanding general (CG), is the officer in command of a military unit. The commanding officer has ultimate authority over the unit, and is usually given wide latitude to run the unit as they see fit, within the bounds of military law. In this respect, commanding officers have significant responsibilities, duties, and powers.
After a brief period as dispatch boat at Hampton Roads, Virginia, Harcourt was ordered 31 July 1864 to Beaufort, North Carolina, to serve the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron as a pilot tug.
Beaufort is a town in and the county seat of Carteret County, North Carolina, United States. Established in 1709 and incorporated in 1723, Beaufort is the third-oldest town in North Carolina . On February 1, 2012, Beaufort was ranked as "America's Coolest Small Town" by readers of Budget Travel Magazine.
She remained at Beaufort carrying pilots to and from ships in the harbor until returning to Norfolk, Virginia, for repairs in November 1864.
Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 242,803; in 2017, the population was estimated to be 244,703 making it the second-most populous city in Virginia after neighboring Virginia Beach.
She later spent a brief period as a patrol boat on the James River in March 1865, and in April assisted in towing the hulk of former CSS Albemarle, the formidable ram sunk in Albemarle Sound 27 October 1864 by Lt. W. B. Gushing, to Norfolk Navy Yard, where she arrived 27 April.
CSS Albemarle was a steam-powered ironclad ram of the Confederate Navy, named for a town and a sound in North Carolina. All three were named for General George Monck, the first Duke of Albemarle and one of the original Carolina Lords Proprietor.
A ram was a weapon carried by varied types of ships, dating back to antiquity. The weapon comprised an underwater prolongation of the bow of the ship to form an armoured beak, usually between six and 12 feet in length. This would be driven into the hull of an enemy ship in order to puncture it and thus sink, or at least disable, the ship.
Albemarle Sound is a large estuary on the coast of North Carolina in the United States located at the confluence of a group of rivers, including the Chowan and Roanoke. It is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the Currituck Banks, a barrier peninsula upon which the town of Kitty Hawk is located, at the eastern edge of the sound, and part of the greater Outer Banks region. Roanoke Island is situated at the southeastern corner of the sound, where it connects to Pamlico Sound. Much of the water in the Albemarle Sound is brackish or fresh, as opposed to the saltwater of the ocean, as a result of river water pouring into the sound.
Harcourt performed various tug duties in Hampton Roads until placed in ordinary 20 November 1865. She was sold at Norfolk, Virginia, 16 April 1867.
USS Tacony (1863) was a double-ended, side-wheel steamboat acquired by the Union Navy during the third year of the American Civil War. She was outfitted as a heavy gunboat with powerful guns and used in the Union blockade of the waterways of the Confederate States of America.
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