This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations . (May 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Sketch of the Smith Briggs gunboat
|Name:||USS Smith Briggs|
|Laid down:||January 1862|
|Launched:||May 3, 1862|
|Fate:||Grounded and destroyed, February 1, 1864|
|Type:||Hudson River tugboat|
|Displacement:||237 long tons (241 t)|
|Length:||135 ft (41 m)|
|Beam:||28 ft (8.5 m)|
|Draft:||4 ft (1.2 m)|
USS Smith Briggs was a Union Army gunboat destroyed during the American Civil War.
The Smith Briggs was originally a Hudson River tugboat built in East Albany, New York, for Samuel Schuyler and the Schuyler Steam Towing Company, and named after an agent for the Hudson River Railroad Company. The ship was laid down in January 1862, and launched on May 3, 1862, at a cost of $20,000, and made her maiden trial voyage on September 27, 1862. The side-wheel steamer was powered with a Maginnis-built 36-inch cylinder with a 9-foot stroke with 30 pounds steam and a speed of 30 RPMs. It was 135 feet long and had a draft of 4 feet.
The private ship was leased by the U.S. government for $200 a day and converted into a gunboat at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, in Portsmouth, Virginia, in March 1863. It was outfitted with armor plating and two guns: a 32-pound Parrott rifle and a 42-pound banded rifle gun.
In the spring of 1863, the Smith Briggs participated in the Siege of Suffolk, and on June 5, 1863, it participated in a combined expedition with the gunboats Commodore Morris, Commodore Jones, and the transport Winnissimet as they ascended the Mattaponi River to attack Confederate ordnance works at the town of Walkerton.
On June 23, 1863, the Smith Briggs and other gunboats – including Commodore Morris, Commodore Barney, Jesup, Morse, and Western World – formed an escort flotilla to provide support for a week-long mission to land a Union force at White House plantation along the Pamunkey River in Virginia.
It also patrolled the York, Rappahannock, Nansemond, and James Rivers in addition to Chuckatuck Creek in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
Smith Briggs was a key ship in the Battle of Smithfield in 1864. During the engagement with Confederate troops, members of the 99th New York Infantry were waiting for the ship to arrive down the Pagan River to pick them up. Upon reaching the troops who were under fire, the gunboat was hit in its exposed boiler causing it to run aground. As a result, the Union soldiers were taken as prisoners.
By 3 p.m. on February 1, 1864, the battle was over. Confederate soldiers and civilians climbed aboard the ship to look for souvenirs and provisions such as coffee and tea. The golden eagle figurehead was also removed from atop the boat’s pilot house. Once the looting was complete, soldiers set it on fire. When the flames reached the two tons of black powder on board, the ship was blown to pieces.
What was left of the wreck remained in the Pagan River until it was salvaged by the company Maltby & Brown a few years later. The owner of the ship was paid $45,000 in restitution by the government after it was destroyed.
Fort Donelson was a fortress built early in 1862 by the Confederacy during the American Civil War to control the Cumberland River, which led to the heart of Tennessee, and thereby the Confederacy. The fort was named after Confederate general Daniel S. Donelson.
USS Galena was a wooden-hulled broadside ironclad built for the United States Navy during the American Civil War. The ship was initially assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron and supported Union forces during the Peninsula Campaign in 1862. She was damaged during the Battle of Drewry's Bluff because her armor was too thin to prevent Confederate shots from penetrating. Widely regarded as a failure, Galena was reconstructed without most of her armor in 1863 and transferred to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron in 1864. The ship participated in the Battle of Mobile Bay and the subsequent Siege of Fort Morgan in August. She was briefly transferred to the East Gulf Blockading Squadron in September before she was sent to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for repairs in November.
CSSVirginia II was a Confederate Navy steam-powered ironclad ram laid down in 1862 at the William Graves' shipyard in Richmond, Virginia. Acting Constructor William A. Graves, CSN, was the superintendent in charge of her construction. In order to conserve scarce iron plating, he ordered the ship's armored casemate shortened from the specifications given in John L. Porter's original building plans; in addition, the ship's iron-plating, while six inches thick on the casemate's forward face, was reduced to five inches on her port, starboard, and aft faces. Due to the shortening of her casemate, the number of her cannon were reduced to a single 11" smoothbore, a single 8" rifle, and two 6.4" rifles.
USS Hendrick Hudson (1859) was a schooner-rigged screw steamer captured by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She was used by the Navy as a gunboat in support of the Union blockade of the ports of the Confederate States of America.
William Augustin Webb was an American sailor and Mexican–American War veteran who resigned his United States Navy commission after more than 20 years of service to join the Confederate States Navy in the American Civil War. Webb was decorated for his service as Captain of the CSS Teaser, part of the James River Squadron, during the Battle of Hampton Roads (1862).
The Battle of Sewell's Point was an inconclusive exchange of cannon fire between the Union gunboat USS Monticello, supported by the USS Thomas Freeborn, and Confederate batteries on Sewell's Point that took place on May 18, 19 and 21, 1861, in Norfolk County, Virginia in the early days of the American Civil War. Little damage was done to either side. By the end of April 1861, USS Cumberland and a small number of supporting ships were enforcing the Union blockade of the southeastern Virginia ports at the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay and had captured several ships which attempted to pass the blockade. USS Monticello's bombardment of the Sewell's Point battery was one of the earliest Union Navy actions against Confederate forces during the Civil War. While it has been suggested by some sources that the Monticello's action may have been the first gunfire by the Union Navy during the Civil War, a brief exchange of cannon fire between the U.S. gunboat USS Yankee and shore batteries manned by Virginia volunteer forces which had not yet been incorporated into the Confederate States Army at Gloucester Point, Virginia on the York River occurred on May 7, 1861.
USS Richmond was a wooden steam sloop in the United States Navy during the American Civil War.
USS Sciota was a Unadilla-class gunboat built on behalf of the United States Navy for service during the Civil War. She was outfitted as a gunboat, with both a 20-pounder rifle for horizontal firing, and two howitzers for shore bombardment, and assigned to the Union blockade of the waterways of the Confederate States of America.
Harriet Lane was a revenue cutter of the United States Revenue Cutter Service and, on the outbreak of the American Civil War, a ship of the United States Navy and later Confederate States Navy. The craft was named after the niece of senator and later United States President, James Buchanan; during his presidency, she acted as First Lady. The cutter was christened and entered the water for the Revenue Service in 1859 out of New York City, and saw action during the Civil War at Fort Sumter, New Orleans, Galveston, Texas, and Virginia Point. The Confederates captured her in 1863, whereupon she was converted to mercantile service. Union forces recaptured her at the end of war. The US Navy declared her unfit for service and sold her. New owners out of Philadelphia renamed her Elliot Ritchie. Her crew abandoned her at sea in 1881.
USS Wyalusing was a double-ended, side-wheel gunboat that served in the United States Navy during the American Civil War. She was named for the borough of Wyalusing in Bradford County, Pennsylvania.
The Siege of Fort Pulaski concluded with the Battle of Fort Pulaski fought April 10–11, 1862, during the American Civil War. Union forces on Tybee Island and naval operations conducted a 112-day siege, then captured the Confederate-held Fort Pulaski after a 30-hour bombardment. The siege and battle are important for innovative use of rifled guns which made existing coastal defenses obsolete. The Union initiated large-scale amphibious operations under fire.
The first USS Cimarron was a sidewheel double-ended steam gunboat of the United States Navy that served during the American Civil War.
The Battle of Albemarle Sound was an inconclusive naval battle fought in May 1864 along the coast of North Carolina during the American Civil War. Three Confederate warships, including an ironclad, engaged eight Union gunboats. The action ended indecisively due to the sunset.
USS General Putnam (1857) – also known as the USS William G. Putnam – was acquired by the Union Navy during the first year of the American Civil War and outfitted as a gunboat and assigned to the Union blockade of the Confederate States of America. She also served as a tugboat and as a ship's tender when so required.
USS Western World (1856) was a ship 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.
USRC Naugatuck was a twin-screw ironclad experimental steamer operated by the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service during the American Civil War. She served the U.S. Treasury Department as the USRC E.A. Stevens, a name she retained until sold in 1890. She was loaned to the Navy by the Treasury Department and thus mistakenly referred to in U.S. Navy dispatches during early 1862 as "USS Naugatuck".
CSS Ivy was a sidewheel steamer and privateer purchased by Commodore Lawrence Rousseau for service with the Confederate States Navy, and chosen by Commodore George Hollins for his Mosquito Fleet. The Mosquito Fleet was a group of riverboats converted to gunboats, and used to defend the Mississippi River in the area of New Orleans during the American Civil War.
The Battle of Lucas Bend took place on January 11, 1862 near Lucas Bend, four miles north of Columbus on Mississippi River in Kentucky as it lay at the time of the American Civil War. In the network of the Mississippi, Tennessee and Ohio rivers, the Union river gunboats under Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote and General Ulysses S. Grant sought to infiltrate and attack the Confederate positions in Tennessee. On the day of the battle, the Union ironclads Essex and St Louis, transporting troops down the Mississippi in fog, engaged the Confederate cotton clad warships General Polk, Ivy and Jackson and the gun platform New Orleans at a curve known as Lucas Bend in Kentucky. The Essex, under Commander William D. Porter, and the St Louis forced the Confederate ships to fall back after an hour of skirmishing during which the Union commander was wounded. They retreated to the safety of a nearby Confederate battery at Columbus, where the Union vessels could not follow.
The Battle of Pig Point, Virginia was an early naval battle of the American Civil War, after Lincoln had extended the Union blockade to include Virginia. On June 5th 1861, the Union gunboat USRC Harriet Lane under Captain John Faunce was ordered to attack Pig Point, but due to shallow water, the shots fell short, and the Union suffered five men wounded before withdrawing.
The Battle of Smithfield was a relatively small skirmish during the American Civil War – taking place on from January 31 to February 1, 1864, in Smithfield, Virginia.