USS Daylight (1859)

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Steamship Daylight (1860) Watercolor by Erik Heyl. This vessel served as USS Daylight in 1861-1865 and was later the civilian steamer Santee.
Career (US) 100x35px
Name: Steamship Daylight
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: 1859
Acquired: 10 May 1861
Commissioned: 7 June 1861
Decommissioned: 24 May 1865
Struck: 1865 (est.)
Fate: sold, 25 October 1865
General characteristics
Displacement: 682 tons
Length: 170 ft (52 m)
Beam: 30 ft 6 in (9.30 m)
Draught: 13 ft (4.0 m)
Propulsion: steam engine, screw
Speed: 5 knots
Complement: 57
Armament: four 32-pounder guns

The USS Daylight was a steam operated vessel 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.

Daylight a screw steamer, was built in 1859 by Samuel Sneden of New York City; chartered by the Navy 10 May 1861; purchased 12 October 1861; outfitted at New York Navy Yard; and commissioned 7 June 1861, Commander S. Lockwood in command.

Assigned to blockade duty along the Atlantic coast

Daylight put to sea 7 June 1861 for duty in the waters of Virginia and along the Atlantic coast as far south as Wilmington, North Carolina, where she assisted in the establishment of the blockade. She served as guard and picket ship and captured four vessels carrying contraband, recapturing one which attempted to escape, before arriving at Baltimore, Maryland, 3 December for repairs.

Bombardment and capture of Fort Macon

On 26 January 1862 Daylight departed for Hampton Roads, cruising off the Virginia coast until 16 April when she sailed for Beaufort, North Carolina. She joined in the bombardment and capture of Fort Macon, North Carolina, on 25 and 26 April, receiving a damaging shot in her hull. She continued her duty, attacking Fort Fisher 4 November 1862. During this attack she lost her second cutter and its crew. When she sailed for Baltimore and repairs on 30 April 1863, she had captured eight vessels.

Repairs completed, Daylight sailed from Hampton Roads 7 September 1863 to serve with the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron until 13 October 1864. Two days later she arrived at Fort Monroe and on the 22d stood up the James River for guard and picket duty which continued until 6 May 1865. On 7 May she put into Norfolk, Virginia, and 5 days later got underway for New York Navy Yard.

Post-war decommissioning and sale

She was placed out of commission there 24 May 1865 and sold 25 October of the same year.


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

See also

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