USS Commodore Perry

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USS Commodore Perry
USS Commodore Perry
Career (US) 100x35px
Name: USS Commodore Perry
Namesake: Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: 1859 at Williamsburg, New York
Acquired: 2 October 1861
Commissioned: October 1861
Decommissioned: 26 June 1865 at New York City
Struck: 1865 (est.)
Fate: sold, 12 July 1865
General characteristics
Type: Gunboat
Displacement: 512 long tons (520 t)
Length: 143 ft (44 m)
Beam: 33 ft (10 m)
Draft: 10 ft (3.0 m)
Propulsion: Steam engine
side wheel-propelled
Speed:kn (8.1 mph; 13 km/h)
Complement: 125
Armament: 2 × 9 in (230 mm) guns, 2 × 32-pounder smoothbore guns, 1 × 12-pounder howitzer

USS Commodore Perry (1858) was a 512 long tons (520 t) steamer acquired by the Union Navy during the first year of the American Civil War.

Commodore Perry was outfitted as a gunboat with heavy guns and a large crew of 125 officers and enlisted personnel. Her powerful guns were capable of doing considerable damage to blockade runners or shore fortifications of the Confederate States of America.

Built in New York in 1859

Commodore Perry — an armed, side-wheel ferry — was built in 1859 by Stack and Joyce, Williamsburg, New York; purchased by the Navy on 2 October 1861; and commissioned later in the month, Acting Master F. J. Thomas in command.

The ship was named in honor of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, who commanded American forces on Lake Erie in the War of 1812, and his brother Matthew Calbraith Perry, who negotiated the historic treaty which opened Japan to American commerce, and who had died the previous year, in 1858.

Civil War service

Assigned to the North Atlantic blockade

Commodore Perry sailed from Hampton Roads, Virginia on 17 January 1862 to join the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, and on 7-8 February took part in the attack, in cooperation with the Union Army, which resulted in the surrender of Roanoke Island, part of the long campaign through which the Navy secured key coastal points.

Commodore Perry took part in the capture of Elizabeth City, North Carolina on 10 February, and the next day captured the schooner Lynnhaven. As operations along the North Carolina coast continued, she joined in the capture of New Berne and Washington in March, and in April took singly or in concert with others of her squadron four schooners and a sloop in the Pasquotank River and New Begun Creek.

On 3 October, Commodore Perry joined in an Army-Navy expedition against Franklin, Virginia, and on 10 December joined an attack against Plymouth, North Carolina. After another combined expedition against Hertford, North Carolina on 30 January 1863, Commodore Perry patrolled constantly in Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds and the streams which enter them, frequently exchanging fire with small detachments of Confederates ashore.

Repaired at Norfolk and at Baltimore

File:USS Commodore Perry (1864).jpg
Commodore Perry at Pamunkey River, Va. in 1864

Repaired at Norfolk, Virginia and Baltimore, Maryland late in 1863, she returned to her squadron in March 1864 for duty in the inland and coastal waters of Virginia on picket, guard, and patrol duty, joining in many amphibious expeditions, until the close of the war.

Post-war decommissioning

She sailed from Norfolk for New York City on 12 June 1865, and there was decommissioned on 26 June and sold on 12 July.


As of 2005, no other ship in the United States Navy has been named Commodore Perry. See USS Perry and USS Oliver Hazard Perry for other ships named for Oliver Hazard Perry.

See also


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

External links