USS Lilian (1863)

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Career (US) Confederate Navy Jack Union Navy Jack
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: 1863
Acquired: 6 September 1864
Commissioned: 6 October 1864
Decommissioned: 5 April 1865
Struck: 1865 (est.)
Captured: by Union Navy forces
24 August 1864
Fate: sold, 30 November 1865
General characteristics
Displacement: 630 tons
Length: 225 ft 6 in (68.73 m)
Beam: 26 ft (7.9 m)
Draught: 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m)
Propulsion: steam engine
wide side wheel-propelled
Speed: 14 knots
Complement: not known
Armament: one 90-pounder gun
one 20-pounder gun
Armour: iron

USS Lilian (1863) was a large steamer captured 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.

Captured by the Union and commissioned as a Union Navy vessel

Lilian, an iron wide-wheel steamer built on the Clyde River, Scotland, in 1863, was captured some 100 miles east of Cape Fear, North Carolina, 24 August 1864 by Keystone State and other Union ships. Among the prisoners were five Wilmington, North Carolina, pilots being carried to Bermuda to guide Confederate ships through the blockade. Purchased by the Navy from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Prize Court 6 September 1864, she was commissioned 6 October at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Acting Volunteer Lt. T. A. Harris in command.

Assigned to join the Union fleet attacking Fort Fisher

Lilian joined the fleet attacking Fort Fisher, Cape Fear River, 23 to 24 December 1864 and 13 to 14 January 1865. She landed troops above the fort on the 13th, and then bombarded it. After this attack, she patrolled the inlet, and with Tristam Shady captured the British steamer Blenheim 25 January.

Post-war decommissioning, sale, and civilian career

She decommissioned 5 April 1865 and was sold at public auction at New York City 30 November 1865. Documented 8 October 1866, Lilian operated in merchant service until 1868.


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

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