Union Coastal Ironclads


DISCLAIMER: Many sources conflict on the specifications of the ironclads, even the well-known ones. The facts and figures given below are a result of the comparison of multiple sources, with the most reasonable ones listed. Some tonnages are highly approximate. Some specifications varied among sister ships. Armament was known to change throughout service life. This list disagrees with some published sources. You have been warned...


Clicking the [Images] links will lead to public-domain images of the vessel at the Naval Historical Center's website.

Monitor

Single turret monitor
Dimensions:  length 172', beam 41', draft 10'5"
Displacement:  987 tons
Speed:  8 knots
Crew:  59
Armor:  11" turret, 5" sides, 1" deck, 9" pilothouse
Armament:  Two 11" Dahlgren smoothbores
Authorized:  4 Oct 61

Monitor [Images]: The prototype of the turreted armored warship designed by John Ericsson, famous for its duel with the Virginia at Hampton Roads. Constructed by Continental at Greenpoint NY. Launched 30 Jan 62. Commissioned 25 Feb 62. Assigned to NABS. Encountered the CSS Virginia in the famous point-blank duel in Hampton Roads VA on 9 March 62, sustaining 22 hits; Worden was seriously wounded. Met the Virginia again on 11 April 62, but neither vessel was willing to engage. Shelled Sewell's Point VA on 8 May 1862 in an attempt to draw out the Virginia, but again neither vessel was willing to engage. Bombarded Fort Darling on Drewry's Bluff VA 15 May 62. Engaged CSS Teaser 4 July 62. Refitted at Washington Navy Yard in October 62; Y-telescoping funnel and rifle shield on top of turret added. Ordered to attack Fort Caswell at Wilmington in conjunction with Passaic but sank in a gale off Cape Hatteras NC while being towed south by USS Rhode Island. Hulk located September 1973, and some artifacts recovered in early 1980's: anchor, navigation lantern, and several other artifacts on display at the Mariners Museum in Newport News VA. Hull is upside-down and partially destroyed from the framework rotting away and by possible accidental depth-charging during World War II. Commanders: Lt. John L. Worden (Feb-Mar 62), Lt. Thomas O. Selfridge, Jr. (temporary Mar 62), LtCdr. William N. Jeffers (Mar-Sep 62), Cdr. Thomas H. Stevens (Sep 62), Cdr. John P. Bankhead (Oct-Dec 62).

Galena

Ironclad sloop
Dimensions:  length 181', beam 36', draft 11'
Displacement:  950 tons
Speed:  8 knots
Crew:  150 
Armor:  3 1/8" sides, 1 ¼" deck
Armament:  Two 100# Parrott rifles, four 9" Dahlgren smoothbores
Authorized:  16 Sep 61

Galena [Images]: The second of the original three Union ironclads, this conventionally-designed sloop had an unconventional armor plating arrangement which proved ineffective. Constructed by Maxon & Fish at Mystic River CT. Launch 14 Feb 62. Commissioned 21 Apr 62. NABS. Bombarded batteries at mouth of James River 8 May 62. Silenced shore batteries at Fort Boykin and Fort Huger 12 May 62. Bombarded Fort Darling on Drewry's Bluff 15 May 62, hit 28 times with 18 armor penetrations, heavily damaged. Provided gunfire support to McClellan at Malvern Hill 1 Jul 62. Covered withdrawal from Harrison's Landing 15 Aug 62. Armor removed beginning in Mar 63, rearmed and recommissioned as conventional wooden steam sloop 15 Feb 64. WGBS. Battle of Mobile Bay 5 Aug 64. Bombarded Fort Morgan 9-23 Aug 64. East Gulf Blockading Squadron, then NABS. Decommissioned 17 Jun 65. Sold to breakers 1872. Commanders: Capt. John Rodgers (Apr-Nov 62), LtCdr. Leonard Paulding (Nov 62-Feb 63).

New Ironsides

Ironclad frigate
Dimensions:  length 232', beam 57'6", draft 15'8"
Displacement:  4,120 tons
Speed:  6 ½ kts knots
Crew:  449 
Armor:  3 to 4 ½" sides, 1" deck, 10" pilothouse
Armament:  Two 150# Parrott rifles, fourteen 11" Dahlgren smoothbores
Authorized:  16 Sep 61

New Ironsides [Images]: The third of the original three Union ironclads, this conventionally-designed frigate was the most powerful ironclad in the Americas, hit hundreds of times with no crippling damage. Constructed by Cramp at Philadelphia PA. Launch 10 May 62. Commissioned 21 Aug 62. NABS. Ordered from Hampton Roads to Port Royal 7 Jan 63, arrived 18 Jan 63. SABS. Alterations carried out at Port Royal. Deployed off Charleston in response to sorties of Chicora and Palmetto State 1 Feb 63. Bombarded Fort Sumter 7 Apr 63. Provided boat and crew to a boat expedition up Folly River 8 Jul 63. Operations against Forts Wagner and Sumter 18 Jul-9 Nov 63. Attacked by torpedo boat 21 Aug 63, no damage. Rescue of USS Weehawken 7 Sep 63. Attacked by torpedo boat David 5 Oct 63, slightly damaged despite direct hit. Decommissioned May 64, recommissioned Aug 64. NABS. Bombarded Fort Fisher 24-25 Dec 6, 30 Dec 64, and 13-15 Jan 65. Assigned to James River flotilla for Grant's drive on Richmond and to guard against Southern ironclads on the James. Decommissioned 6 Apr 65. Accidentally caught fire while at League Island Navy Yard and was a total loss. Commanders: Commo. Thomas Turner (Jun 62-Jul 63), Commo. Stephen C. Rowan (Jul 63-Jun 64), refit Jun-Aug 64), Commo. William Radford (Aug 64-Mar 65), LtCdr. Robert L. Phythian (Mar-Apr 65).

Passaic Class

Single turret monitors
Dimensions:  length 200', beam 46', draft 11'6"
Displacement:  1,335 tons
Speed:  7 knots
Crew:  70-85
Armor:  11" turret, 5" sides, 1" deck, 8" pilothouse
Armament:  One 15" and one 11" Dahlgren smoothbores
Authorized:  17 Mar 62

Passaic Class: The production model of the monitor type, this class served mainly in and around Charleston. The Camanche, the only ship of the class to carry two 15" Dahlgrens from the start, was earmarked for the West Coast and was shipped to San Francisco, where she was reassembled. Many of these ships served through the Spanish-American War, though hopelessly obsolete by that point.

  • Passaic: [Images] Constructed by Continental at Greenpoint NY. Launched 30 Aug 62. Commissioned 25 Nov 62. Assigned to NABS. On trip south, engine failed and was towed to Washington for repairs. Assigned to SABS; was to have been sent to Wilmington to attack Fort Caswell with Monitor, but that was canceled when that ship foundered. Arrived at Port Royal 21 Jan 63. Ordered to Wassaw Sound to guard against CSS Atlanta 26 Jan 63. Reconnoitered up Wilmington River after Atlanta until stopped by shallow water 1 February 63. Captured schooner Glide 23 Feb 63. Ordered to Ossabaw Sound 27 Feb 63. Bombarded Fort McAllister on 3 March 63, struck 34 times (deck damaged). Withdrew to Port Royal 4 Mar 63. Ordered to North Edisto River 1 Apr 63. Bombarded Fort Sumter on 7 April 63, struck 35 times (11" gun disabled, turret jammed). Withdrew to Port Royal. Ordered to North Edisto River 18 Apr 63. Ordered to New York 27 Apr 63, arrived 4 May 63. Repaired at New York in May-July 63. Bombarded New Smyrna FL 28 July 63. Operations against Charleston from 18 July 63 to 9 November 93; grounded near Fort Sumter 22 August 63, shelled CSS Presto near Fort Moultrie 2 February 64. Decommissioned 16 June 65. Wooden deck beams replaced with iron 1871, overhauled 1872. 11" gun replaced with second 15" gun 1873. Recommissioned 1876. Receiving ship at Washington DC from 1878 to 1882, at Annapolis from 1883 to 1892, and at Boston from 1893 to 1894, then decommissioned. Recommissioned briefly for harbor defense 1898. Sold to breakers 10 Oct 99. Commanders: Capt. Percival Drayton (Dec 62-May 63) LtCdr. Edward Simpson (Jun 63-May 64), LtCdr. T. Scott Fillebrown (Jun 64-Jan 65), LtCdr. Robert W. Scott (Feb-Mar 65), Cdr. Edward T. Nichols (Apr 65) LtCdr. Williams (May 65).
  • Patapsco [Images]: Constructed by Harlan & Hollinsworth at Wilmington DE. Launched 27 Sep 62. Commissioned 2 Jan 63. NABS. Ordered to Port Royal 23 Jan 63, arrived 10 Feb 63. SABS. Ordered to Ossabaw Sound 27 Feb 63. Bombarded Fort McAllister 3 Mar 63, hit once. Withdrew to Port Royal 4 Mar 63. Ordered to North Edisto River 1 Apr 63. Bombarded Fort Sumter 7 Apr 63; hit 47 times. Withdrew to Port Royal. Put on alert for transfer to the Gulf 13 Apr 63. Ordered to North Edisto River 18 Apr 63. Boat expedition from CSS Chicora attempted to attack with a spar torpedo 10 May 63. Reconnoitered up North Edisto River 12 May 63. Turret machinery failed 19 Jun 63. Ordered to Charleston 6 Jul 63 but remained at Port Royal because of turret problem. Operations against Forts Wagner and Sumter 18 Jul-9 Nov 63. During 18 Jul 63 attack on Fort Wagner 150# rifle cracked its muzzle, turret machinery failed again. Tested Ericsson antiobstruction device 6 Nov 63. Reconnaissance up Wilmington River 29 Jan 64. Captured Swift 9 Feb 64. Set an unidentified sloop afire off Fort Moultrie 5 Nov 64. Struck a mine and sank within 30 seconds near mouth of Charleston Harbor between Forts Sumter and Moultrie 15 Jan 65 (64 (62?) killed). Hulk blasted by wreckers prior to 1870. Strong current hampered operations. Blasted again just after 1870 (may have just blasted the turret). Remains still existing in channel directly between Forts Sumter and Moultrie; small monument at Fort Moultrie. Commanders: Cdr. Daniel Ammen (Oct 62-Jun 63), LtCdr. Thomas H. Stevens (Aug 63-Apr 64), LtCdr. John Madigan, Jr. (Apr-mid 64), LtCdr. Stephen P. Quackenbush (Dec 64-Mar 65).
  • Nahant [Images]: Constructed by Loring at Boston MA. Launched 7 Oct 62. Commissioned 28 Dec 62. Arrived at Port Royal from Hampton Roads 20 Feb 63. SABS. Ordered to Ossabaw Sound 27 Feb 63. Bombarded Fort McAllister 3 Mar 63, not hit but 11" gun disabled. Withdrew to Port Royal 4 Mar 63. Ordered to North Edisto River 24 Mar 63. Bombarded Fort Sumter 7 Apr 63; hit 36 times, turret jammed, steering damaged, helmsman killed. Withdrew to Port Royal. Put on alert for transfer to the Gulf 13 Apr 63. Ordered to North Edisto River 23 Apr 63. Ordered to Wassaw Sound 10 Jun 63 to guard against CSS Atlanta 10 Jun 63. Engaged Atlanta 17 Jun 63, aided in capture but did not have a chance to fire. Ordered to Port Royal 23 Jun 63. Operations against Forts Wagner and Sumter 10 Jul-9 Nov 63. Ordered to Wassaw Sound via Port Royal 12 Jul 63, arrived 15 Jul 63, returned to Charleston harbor by 22 Jul 63. Refloated Lehigh 16 Nov 63. Shelled CSS Presto near Fort Moultrie 2 Feb 64. Decommissioned 11 Aug 65. Renamed Atlas 15 Jun 69. Renamed Nahant 10 Aug 69. Wooden deck beams replaced with iron 1871, overhauled 1872. 11" gun replaced with 15" gun 1873. Recommissioned 1898. Sold to breakers 16 Apr 1904. Commanders: Cdr. John Downes (Dec 62-Aug 63), LtCdr. John J. Cornwell (Sep 63-Apr 64), LtCdr. Joseph N. Miller (May-Jul 64), LtCdr. William K. Mayo (Jul 64-Feb 65), Lt. Henry F. Picking (Feb-Jun 65).
  • Montauk [Images]: Constructed by Continental at Greenpoint NY. Launched 9 Oct 62. Commissioned 17 Dec 62. Arrived Port Royal 19 Jan 63. SABS. Bombarded Fort McAllister 27 Jan 63 (hit 14 times) and 1 Feb 63 (hit 48 times) without significant damage. Destroyed cruiser/blockade runner CSS Nashville (Rattlesnake) at Fort McAllister 28 Feb 63, hit 5 times, struck a mine while withdrawing (fractured hull plates). Supported attack on Fort McAllister 3 Mar 63 but did not engage. Beached, hull repaired at Port Royal early Mar 63. Ordered to North Edisto River 1 Apr 63. Bombarded Fort Sumter 7 Apr 63; hit 14 times, no serious damage. Withdrew to Port Royal. Ordered to North Edisto River 18 Apr 63. Returned to Port Royal late Jun 63. Operations against Forts Wagner and Sumter 10 Jul-9 Nov 63. Expedition up Stono River 2-9 Jul 64. NABS. Bombarded Fort Anderson on Cape Fear River 11-21 Feb 65. Temporary prison ship for Lincoln assassination suspects; received John Wilkes Booth's body 27 Apr 65. Decommissioned 1865. Wooden deck beams replaced with iron 1871, overhauled 1872. 11" gun replaced with 15" gun 1873. Sold to breakers 14 Apr 1904. Commanders: Capt. John L. Worden (Oct 62-Apr 63), Cdr. Donald McN. Fairfax (Apr-Aug 63), LtCdr. Oscar C. Badger (Aug 63), LtCdr. John L. Davis (Aug 63-May 64) LtCdr. Johnson (mid 64), LtCdr. Edward E. Stone (Sep 64-early 65).
  • Sangamon (ex-Conestoga) [Images]: Constructed by Reany at Chester PA. Launched 27 Oct 62. Commissioned 9 Feb 63. NABS, James River Flotilla. James river expeditions 6-20 Jul 63 (helped capture Fort Powhatan 14 Jul 63) and 4-7 Aug 63. SABS 1864, then NABS. Supported Grant's army Mar 65. Cleared mines and obstructions in James River 4 Apr 65. Decommissioned mid-65. Renamed Jason 15 Jun 69. Wooden deck beams replaced with iron 1871, overhauled 1872. 11" gun replaced with 15" gun 1873. Recommissioned 1898. Sold to breakers 16 Apr 1904. Commanders: Cdr. Peirce Crosby (Nov 62-Jan 63), LtCdr. Joseph N. Miller (Jan-Mar 64), Cdr. George H. Cooper (Mar-Jun 64), LtCdr. Jonathan Young (Jul 64-Jan 65), LtCdr. Ralph Chandler (Jan-Jun 65).
  • Weehawken [Images]: Constructed by Secor at Jersey City NJ. Launched 5 Nov 62. Commissioned 18 Jan 83. Ordered from Hampton Roads to Port Royal 23 Jan 63, arrived 5 Feb 63 with a disabled engine. Repaired at Port Royal with parts from the Camanche. SABS. Ordered to North Edisto River 18 Mar 63. Bombarded Fort Sumter 7 Apr 63; hit 53 times, deck pierced. Withdrew to Port Royal. Put on alert for transfer to the Gulf 13 Apr 63. Repaired at Port Royal. Ordered to Wassaw Sound 10 Jun 63 to guard against CSS Atlanta. Engaged and captured Atlanta 17 Jun 63. Returned to Port Royal. Operations against Forts Wagner and Sumter 10 Jul-9 Nov 63; ran aground between Wagner and Sumter 7 Sep 63, refloated next day. Foundered in Charleston Harbor 6 Dec 63 because of poor integrity, overloading, and an unusual tide (24 (30?) killed). Wreckers removed engines, destroyed turret and pilothouse prior to 1870; remainder of wreck removed afterward. Commanders: Capt. John Rodgers (Nov 62-Jun 63), Cdr. Edmund Ross Colhoun (Jun-Dec 63).
  • Nantucket [Images]: Constructed by Atlantic at Boston MA. Launched 6 Dec 62. Commissioned 26 Feb 63. Arrived at Port Royal 15 Mar 63. SABS. Ordered to North Edisto River 1 Apr 63. Bombarded Fort Sumter 7 Apr 63, hit 51 times, turret jammed. Withdrew to Port Royal. Put on alert for transfer to the Gulf 13 Apr 63. Ordered to North Edisto River 18 Apr 63. Lightened and entered Stono River. Sortied up Stono River 9-10 Jul 63, fired on James Island to support troop landing, then ordered to Charleston Harbor. Operations against Forts Wagner and Sumter 18 Jul-9 Nov 63. Decommissioned 24 Jul 65. Renamed Medusa 15 Jun 69. Renamed Nantucket 10 Aug 69. Wooden deck beams replaced with iron 1871, overhauled 1872. 11" gun replaced with 15" gun 1873. Recommissioned 1882 and 1884. Sold to breakers 14 Nov 1900. Commanders: Cdr. Donald McN. Fairfax (Jan-Apr 63), LtCdr. L. Howard Newman (Apr 63), Cdr. John C. Beaumont (Apr-Oct 63), LtCdr. Stephen B. Luce (Oct 63-Aug 64), LtCdr. Robert F.R. Lewis (Jan-May 65).
  • Catskill [Images]: Constructed by Continental at Greenpoint NY. Launched 16 Dec 62. Commissioned 24 Feb 63. Left New York 28 Feb 63, arrived at Port Royal 4 Mar 63. SABS. Ordered to North Edisto River 22 Mar 63. Bombarded Fort Sumter 7 Apr 63; hit 20 times, took on water through broken deck plates. Withdrew to Port Royal. Put on alert for transfer to the Gulf 13 Apr 63. Ordered to North Edisto River 18 Apr 63. Reconnoitered up North Edisto River 12 May 63. Ordered to Charleston Harbor 6 Jul 63. Flagship of the monitor fleet under John A. Dahlgren. Operations against Forts Wagner and Sumter 10 Jul to 9 Nov 63. Hit 60 times in action against Fort Wagner 10 Jul 63. Ran a sidewheeler aground near Fort Moultrie 19 Jul 63. Hit on 17 Aug 63 killed the captain (Rodgers). Decommissioned 26 Jul 65. Renamed Goliath 15 Jun 69. Renamed Catskill 10 Aug 69. Wooden deck beams replaced with iron 1871, overhauled 1872. 11" gun replaced with 15" gun 1873. North Atlantic Squadron 1876-77. Recommissioned 1898. Sold to breakers 4 Dec 1901. Commanders: Cdr. George W. Rodgers (Feb-Aug 63), LtCdr. Charles C. Carpenter (Sep-Oct 63), LtCdr. Greenleaf Cilley (Oct-Dec 63), LtCdr. William Gibson (Dec 63-Jan 64), LtCdr. Napoleon B. Harrison (Feb-late 64), LtCdr. Edward Barrett (late 64-mid 65).
  • Lehigh [Images]: Constructed by Reany at Chester PA. Launched 17 Jan 63. Commissioned 15 Apr 63. NABS. Expedition up James River 6-20 Jul 63; aided in capture of Fort Powhatan 14 Jul 63. Ordered south in Sep 63. SABS. Operations against Forts Wagner and Sumter 1 Sep-16 Nov 63; ran aground near Fort Moultrie 15 Nov 63, refloated by Nahant. Shelled CSS Presto near Fort Moultrie 2 Feb 64. Expedition up Stono River 2-9 Jul 64. Engaged batteries on Stono and Folly Rivers 9-18 Feb 65. NABS. Cleared mines and obstructions on James River Mar-Apr 65. Decommissioned 9 Jun 65. Wooden deck beams replaced with iron 1871, overhauled 1872. 150# rifle replaced with 15" gun 1873. Training ship at Annapolis 1875-76. Recommissioned 1876-79. Recommissioned 1898. Sold to breakers 14 Apr 1904. Commanders: Cdr. John C. Howell (Feb-Jul 63), Cdr. Andrew Bryson (Aug 63-Apr 64), LtCdr. Francis M. Bunce (Apr-May 64), LtCdr. William Gibson (May 64), LtCdr. Johnson (Jun-Jul 64), LtCdr. Alexander A. Semmes (Aug 64-Mar 65).
  • Camanche [Images]: Constructed by Secor/Donahue at Jersey City NJ/San Francisco CA. Launched 14 Nov 64. Commissioned 24 May 65. Sometimes referred to as Comanche. Completed with iron deck beams rather than wood and with two 15" Dahlgrens. Some engine parts used in repair of Weehawken. Shipped in parts to San Francisco aboard USS Aquila from 29 May 63 to 10 Nov 63. Aquila broke from moorings during a gale on 16 Nov 63; recovered but soon sank at the pier. Raised 8 Jun 64. Reassembly of Camanche began 13 Jul 64, and ship was launched 14 Nov 64. Litigation over the insurance claims surrounding the sinking and recovery dragged on until 1880. Overhauled 1872. Training vessel 1896-1897. In commission 1898. Sold to breakers 15 Feb 99.
  • Keokuk

    Twin casemate ironclad
    Dimensions:  length 159'6", beam 37', draft 9'3"
    Displacement:  840 tons
    Speed:  10 knots
    Crew:  92
    Armor:  4" iron-and-wood sides and casemates
    Armament:  Two 11" Dahlgren smoothbores
    Authorized:  Mar 62
    

    Keokuk: [Images] This experimental ironclad was armed with two pivot guns in non-rotating towers. Her armor was insufficent to protect her. Originally intended to be called "Moodna." Submitted to the Ironclad Board along with the original designs, but not initially accepted. Constructed by Underhill at New York NT. Launched 6 Dec 62. Commissioned 24 Feb 63. Arrived Port Royal 26 Mar 63. SABS. Ordered to North Edisto River 1 Apr 63. Bombarded Fort Sumter 7 Apr 63. Hit 90 times, 18 below water line. Sank 8 Apr 63 (none killed). Armament salvaged by Confederates 1 May 63 and 5 May 63. One gun survives at White Point Gardens (Battery Park) in Charleston. Wreckers did not disturb hull prior to 1870 as it was out of the main ship channel, but may have been broken up sometime thereafter. Commander: Cdr. Alexander C. Rhind (Oct 62-Apr 63).

    Roanoke

    Turret ship
    Dimensions:  length 278', beam 53'3", draft 23'6"
    Displacement:  6,300 tons
    Speed:  8 ½ kts knots
    Crew:  347
    Armor:  11" turrets, 4 ½" sides, 5" ends, 1 ½" deck, 9" pilothouse
    Armament:  Two 15" and two 11" Dahlgren smoothbores, two 150# Parrott rifles
    Authorized:  Mar 62
    

    Roanoke: [Images] The sister ship of the Merrimack, this ship was taken into drydock and rebuilt as a three-turreted ironclad. She was topheavy and a poor sea boat, and gained no distinction, serving mostly in a harbor defense role. Converted at New York NY. Attempt by New York politicians to retain the ship for the defense of New York Harbor. Commissioned 29 Jun 63. NABS. Returned to New York Apr 65. Decommissioned 20 Jun 65. Placed in reserve 1867. Sold to breakers 27 Sep 83. Commanders: Capt. Benjamin F. Sands (Jun-Jul 63), Capt. Guert Gansevoort (early 64), Capt. Augustus H. Kilty (Sep 64-Jun 65).

    Onondaga

    Twin turret monitor
    Dimensions:  length 226', beam 51'5", draft 12'
    Displacement:  2,592 tons
    Speed:  7 knots
    Crew:  130
    Armor:  11" turrets, 5" sides, 2" deck, 11" pilothouse
    Armament:  Two 15" Dahlgren smoothbores, two 150# Parrott rifles
    Authorized:  16 May 62
    

    Onondaga: [Images] A non-Ericsson twin-turret design. Constructed by Continental at Greenpoint NY. Launched 29 Jul 63. Commissioned 24 Mar 64. James River flotilla. Fitted with a locomotive headlight on the bow. Convoyed Butler's troops up James R. 5 May 64. Engagement at Trent's Reach 21 Jun 64. Engagements at Dutch Gap 13, 16-18 Aug 64. Bombarded Howlett's Battery 29 Nov 64 and 5-6 Dec 64. Engaged CSS Virginia II, Richmond, and Fredericksburg on 24 Jan 65, forcing them to retire. Decommissioned 8 Jun 65. Sold to vessel's designer, George Quintard, who sold it to France 12 Jul 67; refitted with breechloading guns. Broken up 1903. Commanders: LtCdr. Charles H. Cushman (mid 64), Cdr. William A. Parker (early 65).

    Canonicus Class

    Single turret monitors
    Dimensions:  length 225', beam 43'8", draft 13'6"
    Displacement:  2,100 tons
    Speed: 7 knots
    Crew:  114
    Armor:  10" turret, 5" sides, 1 ½" deck, 10" pilothouse
    Armament:  Two 15" Dahlgren smoothbores
    Authorized:  Sep 62
    

    Canonicus Class: This improved class of monitors was designed with lessons learned from the Monitor-Virginia duel. The Tecumseh was sunk by a mine at the Battle of Mobile Bay and still lies, more or less intact, off of Fort Morgan. The Catawba and Oneota were sold to Peru; others of this class served through the Spanish-American War. There is a rare, short clip of film that shows the Canonicus underway at the 1907 Jamestown Naval Exposition.

  • Canonicus [Images]: Constructed by Loring at Boston MA. Launched 1 Aug 63. Commissioned 16 Apr 64. NABS. Convoyed Butler's troops up James R. 5 May 64. Engagements at Trent's Reach VA 21 Jun 64; Dutch Gap VA 16-18 Aug 64; Howlett's Battery 5-6 Dec 64. Bombarded Fort Fisher NC 24-25 Dec 64 and 13-15 Jan 65 (hit 36 times). SABS. Decommissioned 30 Jun 65. Renamed Scylla 15 Jun 69. Renamed Canonicus 10 Aug 69. Rebuilt 1872-1874. Recommissioned 1872-1877. Sold to breakers 19 Feb 1908. Commanders: Commo. John Rodgers (Jul-Sep 63), Cdr. Enoch G. Parrott (mid 64), LtCdr. George E. Belknap (Nov 64-Jun 65).
  • Tecumseh [Images]: Constructed by Secor at Jersey City NJ. Launched 12 Sep 63. Commissioned 19 Apr 64. NABS, James River Squadron. Convoyed Butler's troops up the James 5 May 64. Engagement at Trent's Reach 21 Jun 64. Ordered south; spent six days at Port Royal SC for engine repairs. WGBS. Battle of Mobile Bay 5 Aug 64. Struck a mine and sank instantly (93 killed). Dent spread rivets, the bow went under, and the vessel rolled. The location of the wreck was noted from the position of a lighthouse that was demolished soon after the war, and so the wreck was lost for a century. Hulk located mid-1960s and became the focus of legal struggles over ownership between the state of Alabama and the federal government. This situation was settled by the Navy, which asserted its continued ownership of the vessel at a 1993 conference. In the early 1990s, there were rumors that the wreck was being looted. Divers were sent down, but the rumors were apparently false. Upside down in 36' of water 200 yards off Fort Morgan, covered by and filled with mud. Some artifacts have been recovered and are on display at the Museum of the City of Mobile: a piece of armor and a dinnerplate, along with a rare photo of the ship at launching. There are no solid plans to do anything with the Tecumseh at present. A full salvage would cost approximately $40 million (as of 1995) because of the difficulty of the operation. The clear-water cofferdam display idea discussed in the 1970s has been abandoned as unfeasible and undesirable. Commander: Cdr. Tunis A.M. Craven (Apr-Aug 64).
  • Manhattan [Images]: Constructed by Perine at Williamsburg NY. Launched 14 Oct 63. Commissioned 6 Jun 64. WGBS. Caught fire 8 Jul 64 soon after arriving at Pensacola; little damaged. Battle of Mobile Bay 5 Aug 64, engaged CSS Tennessee. Bombarded Fort Morgan 9-22 Aug 64. Transferred to Mississippi Squadron. Engaged Confederate ram Webb near mouth of Red R. 23 Apr 65. Decommissioned Aug 65. Renamed Neptune 15 Jun 69. Renamed Manhattan 10 Aug 69. Recommissioned 1873-1877. Sold to breakers 24 Mar 1902. Commanders: Cdr. James W.A. Nicholson (Jan-Dec 64), LtCdr Edward C. Grafton (early 65).
  • Saugus [Images]: Constructed by Harlin & Hollinsworth at Wilmington DE. Launched 16 Dec 63. Commissioned 7 Apr 64. NABS. Convoyed Butler's troops up the James R. 5 May 64. Engaged Virginia II and Fredericksburg at Trent's Reach 21 Jun 64. Engaged Deep Bottom batteries on James River 29 Jun 64. Bombarded Dutch Gap VA 13 Aug 64. Bombarded Howlett's Battery 5-6 Dec 64; turret damaged. Bombarded Fort Fisher NC 24-25 Dec 64 and 13-15 Jan 65 (one 15" gun burst on 13 Jan, 1 wounded). Prison vessel for Lincoln assassination suspects Apr 65. Decommissioned 13 Jun 65. Recommissioned 30 Apr 69. Renamed Centaur 15 Jun 69. Renamed Saugus 10 Aug 69. Decommissioned 31 Dec 70. Recommissioned 1872-8 Oct 77. Sold to breakers 15 Mar 91. Commanders: Cdr. Edmund Ross Colhoun (Feb-Dec 64), LtCdr. Thomas S. Phelps (Dec 64-Jan 65).
  • Catawba: Constructed by Swift, Evans at Cincinnati OH. Launched 13 Apr 64. Never commissioned. Repurchased by Swift and sold to Peru. Named Atahualpa in Peruvian service. Scuttled at Callao to prevent capture by Chile 16 Jan 80. Raised later in 1880 and hulked. Discarded about 1910.
  • Mahopac: [Images] Constructed by Secor at Jersey City NJ. Launched 17 May 64. Commissioned 22 Sep 64. NABS. Engaged Howlett's Battery (Battery Dantzler) on the James River 29 Nov 64 and 5-6 Dec 64. Bombarded Fort Fisher NC 24-25 Dec 64 and 13-15 Jan 65 (one 15" gun burst on 13 Jan, none wounded). Advance on Richmond Apr 65. Decommissioned Jun 65. Recommissioned 1866-1872. Renamed Castor 15 Jun 69. Renamed Mahopac 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers 25 Mar 1902. Commanders: LtCdr. Edward E. Potter (late 64), LtCdr. Aaron W. Weaver (Aug 64-May 65).
  • Oneota: Constructed by Swift, Evans at Cincinnati OH. Launched 21 May 64. Never commissioned. Repurchased by Swift, sold to Peru 2 Apr 68. Named Manco Capac in Peruvian service. Sunk at Arica to prevent capture by Chile, 7 Jun 80.
  • Ajax (ex-Manayunk) [Images]: Constructed by Snowden & Mason at Pittsburgh PA. Launched 18 Dec 64. Laid up after launch as Manayunk at Mound City IL until 1867, then at New Orleans. Renamed Ajax 15 Jun 69. Commissioned 1 Jan 71 and assigned to the North Atlantic Squadron. Decommissioned 1876. Recommissioned 1898. Sold to breakers 10 Oct 99.
  • Wyandotte (ex-Tippecanoe) [Images]: Constructed by Greenwood at Cincinnati OH. Launched as Tippecanoe 22 Dec 64 and laid up at Mound City. Renamed Vesuvius 15 Jun 69. Renamed Wyandotte 10 Aug 69. Rebuilt 1872-1874. Commissioned 24 Jan 76. North Atlantic Squadron 1876-1879. Station ship at Washington DC 1879-1885. Recommissioned 1898. Sold to breakers 17 Jan 99.
  • Monadnock Class

    Twin turret monitors
    Dimensions:  length 259'6", beam 52'6", draft 12'8"
    Displacement:  3,295 tons
    Speed:  9 knots
    Crew:  167
    Armor:  10" turrets, 5" sides, 1 ½" deck, 8" pilothouse
    Armament:  Four 15" Dahlgren smoothbores
    Authorized:  1862
    

    Monadnock Class: Twin-turret monitors with some seagoing capacity. The Monadnock rounded Cape Horn after the war, and the Miantonomoh crossed the Atlantic. All were scrapped in the 1870s to pay for new ships.

  • Monadnock [Images]: Constructed by Charlestown Navy Yard at Boston MA. Launched 23 March 64. Commissioned 4 Oct 64. NABS. Bombarded Fort Fisher NC 24-25 Dec 64 and 14-15 Jan 65. Supported operations against Richmond Mar-Apr 65. Cleared mines and obstacles in James River 4 Apr 65. Went to Havana to meet CSS Stonewall May 65. Visited Brazil 12 Aug 65, then rounded Cape Horn 1865-66. Decommissioned 30 Jun 66, laid up at Mare Island. Officially "rebuilt" as USS Monadnock (BM 3), but in reality scrapped and replaced in 1874. Commander: Cdr. Enoch G. Parrott (Feb 65).
  • Agamenticus [Images]: Constructed by Portsmouth Navy Yard at Kittery ME. Lauvched 19 Mar 64. Commissioned 5 May 65. NABS. Prepared to meet CSS Stonewall when it was reported to have left Lisbon. Decommissioned 30 Sep 65. Renamed Terror 15 May 69. Recommissioned 27 May 69. North Atlantic Squadron. Decommissioned 10 Jun 72. Officially "rebuilt" as USS Terror (BM 4), but in reality scrapped and replaced in 1874. Commander: Cdr. Enoch G. Parrott (May-Jun 65).
  • Tonawanda [Images]: Constructed by Philadelphia Navy Yard at Philadelphia PA. Launched 6 May 64. Commissioned 12 Oct 65. Training ship at Annapolis 1866-72. Renamed Amphitrite 15 May 69. Officially "rebuilt" as USS Amphitrite (BM 2), but in reality scrapped and replaced in 1874.
  • Miantonomoh [Images]: Constructed by Brooklyn Navy Yard at Brooklyn NY. Launched 15 Aug 64. Commissioned 18 Sep 65. North Atlantic Squadron. European cruise 1866-67. Sank schooner Sarah in collision at New York 4 Dec 69. Sank tug Maria in collision off Martha's Vineyard 4 Jan 70. Decommissioned 28 Jul 70. Officially "rebuilt" as USS Miantonomoh (BM 5), but in reality scrapped and replaced in 1874.
  • Dictator

    Single turret monitor
    Dimensions:  length 314', beam 50', draft 20'6"
    Displacement:  4,438 tons
    Speed:  10 knots (15 intended)
    Crew:  174
    Armor:  15" turret, 6" sides, 1 ½" deck, 12" pilothouse
    Armament:  Two 15" Dahlgren smoothbores
    Authorized:  1862
    

    Dictator: [Images] This large seagoing monitor was hampered by poorly-designed engines and a deep draft, though she had good seakeeping qualities (clipper ship designer Donald McKay said that her hull lines were "as beautiful as a woman's leg"). Constructed by Delamater at New York NY. Launched 26 Dec 63. Before commissioning, stationed off the Battery in New York Harbor with guns loaded with canister during 1864 elections to prevent riots. Commissioned 11 Nov 64. NABS. Decommissioned 5 Sep 65. Recommissioned 1869. North Atlantic Squadron 1869-1877 and 1874-1877. Decommissioned 1 Jun 77. Sold to breakers 27 Sep 83. Commander: Commo. John Rodgers (Nov 64-mid 65).

    Casco Class

    Spar torpedo boats
    Dimensions:  length 225', beam 45', draft 7'6"
    Displacement:  1,175 tons
    Speed:  6 knots
    Crew:  69
    Armor:  3" deck
    Armament:  One 11" Dahlgren smoothbore on pivot, spar torpedo
    Authorized:  Feb 63
    

    Single turret monitors
    Dimensions:  length 225', beam 45', draft 8'4"
    Displacement:  1,618 tons
    Speed:  5 knots
    Crew:  69
    Armor:  8" turret, 3" deck, 10" pilothouse
    Armament:  Two 11" Dahlgrens (Tunxis had  one and a 150# Parrott)
    Authorized:  Feb 63
    

    Casco Class: This class of light-draft monitors was originally designed by Ericsson and intended for the rivers and the Carolina sounds. However, a mistaken re-design by engineer Alban C. Stimers proved disastrous and the entire class was an expensive fiasco for the Union. Five vessels were completed as torpedo boats (Casco, Chimo, Naubuc, Napa, Modoc), but their slow speed made them ineffective. The Chimo and Naubuc mounted a 150# Parrott rifle in place of the 11" Dahlgren, and the Modoc was armed solely with the spar torpedo.

    Finished as torpedo boats:
  • Casco [Images]: Constructed by Atlantic at Boston MA. Launched 7 May 64. Commissioned 4 Dec 64. James River Squadron. Decommissioned 10 Jun 65. Renamed Hero 15 Jun 69. Sold to breakers 1 Apr 1875. Commander: ?
  • Chimo [Images]: Constructed by Adams at Boston MA. Launched 5 May 64. Commissioned 20 Jan 65. Station ship, Point Lookout NC. Decommissioned 24 Jun 65. Renamed Orion 15 Jun 69. Renamed Piscataqua 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers 1874. Commander: ?
  • Naubuc [Images]: Constructed by Perine at Williamsburg NY. Launched 19 Oct 64. Commissioned 27 Mar 65. Decommissioned 27 Jun 65. Renamed Gorgon 15 Jun 69. Renamed Minnetonka 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers 1875. Commander: ?
  • Napa [Images]: Constructed by Harlan & Hollinsworth at Wilmington DE. Launched 26 Nov 64. Never commissioned; laid up on completion. Renamed Nemesis 15 Jun 69. Renamed Napa 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers 1875.
  • Modoc [Images]: Constructed by Underhill at New York NY. Launched 21 Mar 65. Never commissioned; laid up on completion. Renamed Achilles 15 Jun 69. Renamed Modoc 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers Aug 75.
    Finished as monitors:
  • Tunxis [Images]: Constructed by Reany at Chester PA. Launched 4 Jun 64. Commissioned 12 Jul 64. Rebuilt by Cramp 1864-66 and laid up 1866. Renamed Hydra 15 Jun 69. Renamed Otsego 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers 1874. Commander: LtCdr. Henry Erben (Jul-Sep 64).
  • Squando [Images]: Constructed by McKay at Boston MA. Launched 31 Dec 64. Commissioned 6 Jun 65. North Atlantic Squadron. Decommissioned 26 May 66. Renamed Erebus 15 Jun 69. Renamed Algoma 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers 1 Jul 74. Commander: ?
  • Suncook: Sometimes misnamed "Simcook." Constructed by Globe at Boston MA. Launched 1 Feb 65. Commissioned 27 Jul 65. Decommissioned 1865. Renamed Spitfire 15 Jun 69. Renamed Suncook 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers Aug 75.
  • Shawnee [Images]: Constructed by Curtis & Tilden at Boston MA. Launched 13 Mar 65. Commissioned 18 Aug 65. Decommissioned Nov 65. Renamed Eolus 15 Jun 69. Renamed Shawnee 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers Aug 75.
  • Klamath: Constructed by Swift, Evans at Cincinnati OH. Launched 20 Apr 65. Never commissioned; laid up on completion. Renamed Harpy 15 Jun 69. Renamed Klamath 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers 12 Sep 74.
  • Nausett [Images]: Constructed by McKay at Boston MA. Launched 26 Apr 65. Commissioned 10 Aug 65. Decommissioned 24 Aug 65. Renamed AEtna 15 Jun 69. Renamed Nausett 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers Aug 75.
  • Waxsaw: Constructed by Denmead at Baltimore MD. Launched 4 May 65. Never commissioned; laid up on completion. Renamed Niobe 15 Jun 69. Sold to breakers 25 Aug 75.
  • Yazoo [Images]: Constructed by Cramp at Philadelphia PA. Launched 8 May 65. Never commissioned; laid up on completion. Renamed Tartar 15 Jun 69. Renamed Yazoo 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers 5 Sep 74.
  • Koka: Constructed by Wilcox & Whiting at Camden NJ. Launched 18 May 65. Never commissioned; laid up on completion. Renamed Argos 15 Jun 69. Renamed Koka 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers Oct 74.
  • Yuma: Constructed by Wilcox & Philips at Camden NJ. Launched 30 May 65. Never commissioned; laid up on completion. Renamed Tempest 15 Jun 69. Renamed Yuma 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers 12 Sep 74.
  • Cohoes: Constructed by Continental at Greenpoint NY. Launched 31 May 65. Never commissioned; laid up 1867. Renamed Charybdis 15 Jun 69. Renamed Cohoes 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers Jul 74.
  • Etlah: Constructed by McCord at St. Louis MO. Launched 3 Jul 65. Never commissioned; laid up 1867. Renamed Hecate 15 Jun 69. Renamed Etlah 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers 12 Sep 74.
  • Iris (ex-Shiloh): Constructed by McCord at St. Louis MO. Launched 14 Jul 65. Laid up on completion as Shiloh. Renamed Iris 15 Jun 69. Briefly in commission 1874. Sold to breakers 1874.
  • Wassuc [Images]: Constructed by Lawrence at Thomaston ME. Launched 25 Jul 65. Never commissioned; laid up on completion. Renamed Stromboli 15 Jun 69. Renamed Wassuc 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers 9 Sep 75.
  • Umpqua: Constructed by Snowden & Mason at Pittsburgh PA. Launched 21 Dec 65. Never commissioned; laid up on completion. Renamed Fury 15 Jun 69. Renamed Umpqua 10 Aug 69. Sold to breakers 12 Sep 74.
  • "Stevens Battery"

    Self-propelled floating battery
    Dimensions:  length 420', beam 53', draft 20'6"
    Displacement:  4,638 tons
    Speed:  17 knots (planned)
    Crew:  ?
    Armor:  6 ¾" shield, 3 ½" sides, 1 ½" deck
    Armament:  Five 15" Rodman rifles, two 10" rifles
    Authorized:  1842
    

    "Stevens Battery" [Images]: This would have been the first ironclad warship in the world, had it been completed as originally scheduled. She lay on the Stevens company stocks at Hoboken, New Jersey from the 1840s through the 1870s and was finally scrapped. The unarmored revenue steamer Naugatuck, built as a technology demonstrator for the larger vessel, was also sometimes called "the Stevens Battery." Specifications for this vessel varied somewhat in a string of different incarnations.

    Dunderberg

    Casemate ram
    Dimensions:  length 377'4", beam 72'10", draft 21'
    Displacement:  7,060 tons
    Speed:  15 knots
    Crew:  590
    Armor:  3 ½" sides and casemate deck, 4 ½" casemate and main deck
    Armament:  Four 15" and twelve 11" Dahlgren smoothbores
    Authorized:  3 Jul 62
    

    Dunderberg: [Images] A Union attempt to duplicate and improve upon the design of the Confederate Virginia, this ship was completed too late for the Civil War. Constructed by Webb at New York NY. Launched 22 Jul 65. Never commissioned. Sold back to builder 2 Mar 67, resold to France Jul 67 and renamed Rochambeau. Served in Franco-Prussian War, 1870-71. Broken up 1874.

    Puritan

    Single turret monitor
    Dimensions:  length 340', beam 50', draft 21'
    Displacement:  4,912 tons
    Speed:  15 knots (planned)
    Crew:  ?
    Armor:  15" turret, 6" sides, 1 ½" deck, 12" pilothouse
    Armament:  Two 20" Dahlgren smoothbores
    Authorized:  1862
    

    Puritan: [Images] Similar to but even larger than Dictator. Designed with two turrets, but then Ericsson redesigned her with one. Constructed by Continental at Greenpoint NY. Launched 2 Jul 64. Work suspended late 1865. Officially "rebuilt" as USS Puritan (BM 1), but in reality scrapped and replaced in 1874.

    Kalamazoo Class

    Turret ships
    Dimensions:  length 345'5", beam 56'8", draft 17'6"
    Displacement:  5,660 tons
    Speed:  10 knots (planned)
    Crew:  ?
    Armor:  15" turrets, 6" sides, 3" deck
    Armament:  Four 15" Dahlgren smoothbores
    Authorized:  1863
    

    Kalamazoo Class: A class of large seagoing twin-turret monitors, work stopped 17 Nov 65 and never resumed. In a limited sense, they anticipated the later British Devastation and might have been influential if completed.

  • Kalamazoo: Constructed by Brooklyn Navy Yard at Brooklyn NY. Renamed Colossus 15 Jun 69. Broken up on stocks 1884.
  • Passaconaway: Constructed by Portsmouth Navy Yard at Kittery ME. Renamed Thunderer 15 Jun 69. Renamed Massachusetts 10 Aug 69. Broken up on stocks 1884.
  • Quinsigamond: Constructed by Charlestown Navy Yard at Boston MA. Renamed Hercules 15 Jun 69. Renamed Oregon 10 Aug 69. Broken up on stocks 1884.
  • Shackamaxon: Constructed by Philadelphia Navy Yard at Philadelphia PA. Renamed Hecla 15 Jun 69. Renamed Nebraska 10 Aug 69. Broken up on stocks 1874.

  • The Union captured several Confederate ironclads during the war in various stages of construction or destruction. The hulks of the Mississippi and Albemarle were raised and taken North and scrapped, and the Texas and Columbia were captured too late to have any part to play in the war. The following two vessels, on the other hand, were on active service with the Union navy for considerable periods of time.

    Atlanta

    Casemate ram
    Dimensions:  length 204', beam 41', draft 15'9"
    Displacement:  1,006 tons
    Speed:  7 knots
    Crew:  165
    Armor:  4" casemate, ½" deck
    Armament:  Two 150# and two 100# Parrott rifles
    

    Atlanta: For prior history see CSS Atlanta. Captured by USS Weehawken and USS Nahant in Wassaw Sound GA 17 Jun 63. Removed from bar that evening, surveyed and repaired at Port Royal. Taken into Union service, rearmed, and commissioned in 1863. SABS, then NABS. Minesweeper in James River. Convoyed Butler's troops up James R. 5 May 64. Drove off Confederate cavalry attacking Fort Powhatan 21 May 64. Guarded James R. against Southern ironclads. Sold to Haiti 4 May 69, renamed Triumph. Lost at sea off Cape Hatteras Dec 69. Commanders: Lt. Bartlett J. Cromwell (Jun-Oct 63), Lt. Thomas J. Woodward (late 64-early 65).

    Tennessee

    Casemate ram
    Dimensions:  length 209', beam 48', draft 14'
    Displacement:  1,273 tons
    Speed:  6 knots
    Crew:  133
    Armor:  6" forward, 5" casemate sides, 2" deck
    Armament:  Two 7" and two 6.4" Brooke rifles
    

    Tennessee: For prior history see CSS Tennessee. Captured at Battle of Mobile Bay 5 Aug 64. Taken into Union service, commissioned 19 Aug 64, and assigned to WGBS. Bombarded Fort Morgan AL 19-22 Aug 64. Transferred to Mississippi Squadron, became district flagship. Decommissioned 19 Aug 65. Sold to breakers 27 Nov 67. Commander: LtCdr. Edward P. Lull (late 64-May 65).


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