USS Hoyt (1863)

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History
US flag 34 stars.svgUnited States
Ordered: as Luke Hoyt
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: 1863
Acquired: 1 July 1864
In service: 1864
Out of service: 1865
Struck: 1865 (est.)
Fate: not known
General characteristics
Displacement: not known
Length: 45 ft (14 m)
Beam: 10 ft 5 in (3.18 m)
Draught: 4 ft 7 in (1.40 m)
Propulsion:
Speed: 7 knots
Complement: not known
Armament: one spar torpedo

USS Hoyt (1863) was a steamer acquired by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She was used by the Union Navy for various tasks, including those of a torpedo boat.

Steamship Type of steam powered vessel

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.

Union Navy United States Navy during the American Civil War

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.

American Civil War Civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865

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.

Contents

Hoyt, a former merchant tug Luke Hoyt, built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1863, was acquired 1 July 1864.

Fitting out as a torpedo boat

Hoyt and steam tugs USS Belle and USS Martin, fitted with spar torpedoes, were dispatched by Rear Admiral Samuel Phillips Lee to join Union Naval Forces in the rivers and sounds of North Carolina. These torpedo boats were intended as counter-weapons against much-feared Confederate rams rumored to be building up the Roanoke River. Admiral Lee described their armament :

USS Belle (1864) was a steamer acquired by the Union Navy during the American Civil War.

USS Martin (1864) was a steamer acquired by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She was used by the Union Navy for various tasks, including those of a torpedo boat, tugboat, and a picket boat, patrolling Confederate waterways to prevent the South from trading with other countries.

Spar torpedo

A spar torpedo is a weapon consisting of a bomb placed at the end of a long pole, or spar, and attached to a boat. The weapon is used by running the end of the spar into the enemy ship. Spar torpedoes were often equipped with a barbed spear at the end, so it would stick to wooden hulls. A fuse could then be used to detonate it.

"This form of torpedo is intended to explode on impact, and to be placed on a pole or rod projecting not less than 15 feet, and if possible 20 feet, beyond the vessel using it. It contains 150 pounds of powder."

North Carolina operations

Hoyt took station at New Berne, North Carolina, waiting for combat opportunity that never came.

Post-war decommissioning and sale

She steamed north late in May 1865, and was sold 10 August 1865 at Philadelphia.

Notes on torpedo warfare during the American Civil War

Hoyt was a part of the small beginning of a most serious weapon in the 20th century. The Confederacy had first pointed the way to moderate success of torpedo warfare in the Civil War when a similarly-armed "David" damaged the USS New Ironsides. Union blockaders were much alarmed in February 1864 when the hand-powered submarine H. L. Hunley, armed with a spar torpedo, sank the steam sloop-of-war USS Housatonic. The importance of torpedo warfare was further underscored the night of 27–28 October 1864, when Lieutenant Cushing and a crew of 14 sank the ironclad ram CSS Albemarle with an improvised torpedo boat. These pioneers cast a shadow far ahead toward the enormous underseas combat capabilities of the 20th century.

Submarine Watercraft capable of independent operation underwater

A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation underwater. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability. The term most commonly refers to a large, crewed vessel. It is also sometimes used historically or colloquially to refer to remotely operated vehicles and robots, as well as medium-sized or smaller vessels, such as the midget submarine and the wet sub. The noun submarine evolved as a shortened form of submarine boat; by naval tradition, submarines are usually referred to as "boats" rather than as "ships", regardless of their size.

<i>H. L. Hunley</i> (submarine) submarine

H. L. Hunley, often referred to as Hunley, was a submarine of the Confederate States of America that played a small part in the American Civil War. Hunley demonstrated the advantages and the dangers of undersea warfare. She was the first combat submarine to sink a warship, although Hunley was not completely submerged and, following her successful attack, was lost along with her crew before she could return to base. The Confederacy lost 21 crewmen in three sinkings of Hunley during her short career. She was named for her inventor, Horace Lawson Hunley, shortly after she was taken into government service under the control of the Confederate States Army at Charleston, South Carolina.

USS <i>Housatonic</i> (1861) ship

USS Housatonic was a screw sloop-of-war of the United States Navy, gaining its namesake from the Housatonic River of New England.

Related Research Articles

Torpedo boat small and fast naval vessel armed with torpedoes

A torpedo boat is a relatively small and fast naval ship designed to carry torpedoes into battle. The first designs rammed enemy ships with explosive spar torpedoes, and later designs launched self-propelled Whitehead torpedoes. They were created to counter battleships and other slow and heavily armed ships by using speed, agility, and the power of their torpedo weapons. A number of inexpensive torpedo boats attacking en masse could overwhelm a larger ship's ability to fight them off using its large but cumbersome guns. An inexpensive fleet of torpedo boats could pose a threat to much larger and more expensive fleets of capital ships, albeit only in the coastal areas to which their small size and limited fuel load restricted them.

CSS <i>Tennessee</i> (1863) Confederate ironclad

CSS Tennessee was a casemate ironclad ram built for the Confederate Navy during the American Civil War. She served as the flagship of Admiral Franklin Buchanan, commander of the Mobile Squadron, after her commissioning. She was captured in 1864 by the Union Navy during the Battle of Mobile Bay and then participated in the Union's subsequent Siege of Fort Morgan. Tennessee was decommissioned after the war and sold in 1867 for scrap.

USS <i>Wyalusing</i>

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USS <i>Harvest Moon</i> (1863)

The USS Harvest Moon was a steam operated gunboat acquired by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She was used by the Navy to patrol navigable waterways of the Confederacy to prevent the South from trading with other countries.

USS Delta (1864) was a steamship used by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She was used by the Navy to patrol navigable waterways of the Confederacy to prevent the South from trading with other countries.

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USS Lilac (1863) was a steamer acquired by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She was used by the Navy as a tugboat and in other minor roles.

USS <i>Bazely</i> (1863)

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USS Alpha (1864) was a side wheel paddle steamer acquired by the Union Navy during the American Civil War.

USS Althea (1863) was a screw steamer acquired by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. The Union Navy used her as a tugboat, a torpedo boat, and as a ship's tender in support of the Union Navy blockade of Confederate waterways.

USS Gamma (1863) was a small steamer acquired by the Union Navy during close of the American Civil War.

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Daniel G. George

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References

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships .The entry can be found here.

The public domain consists of all the creative works to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable.

<i>Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships</i> book

The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS) is the official reference work for the basic facts about ships used by the United States Navy.

See also