USS Manhattan (1863)

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The USS Manhattan on the James River during the 1880s.
The USS Manhattan on the James River during the 1880s.
Career 48px
Ordered: 15 September 1862
Builder: Perine, Secor & Co.
Laid down: 1862
Launched: 14 October 1863
Commissioned: 6 June 1864
Decommissioned: 1877
Renamed: USS Neptune, 15 June - 10 August 1869
Struck: 14 December 1901
Fate: Sold, 24 March 1902
General characteristics
Displacement: 2,100 tons
Length: 223 ft (68 m)
Beam: 43 ft 4 in (13.21 m)
Draft: 13 ft 6 in (4.11 m)
Propulsion: 2 boilers, 1-shaft Ericsson vibrating lever engine, 320 ihp (235 kW)
Speed: 8 knots
Complement: 85 officers and enlisted
Armament: 2 × 15 in (381 mm) Dahlgren smoothbore guns
Armor: Iron
Side: 5 - 3 in (12.7 - 7.6 cm)
Turret: 10 in (25.4 cm)
Pilothouse: 8 in (20.3 cm)
Deck: 1½ in (3.8 cm)

USS Manhattan (1863) was a monitor acquired by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. Manhattan was assigned to the Union blockade of the ports of the Confederate States of America.

Commissioned in New York City

Manhattan -- the first U.S. Navy ship to bear the name -- was built by Perine, Secor & Co., New York City, at the yard of Joseph Coldwell, Jersey City, New Jersey; launched 14 October 1863; and commissioned at the New York Navy Yard 6 June 1864, Commander J. W. A. Nicholson in command.

Civil War service

Assigned to the Gulf blockade

Immediately following commissioning, the single‑turreted Canonicus-class monitor steamed for the Gulf of Mexico in late July, joining Rear Admiral David G. Farragut’s West Gulf Blockading Squadron, then readying for what was to be the Battle of Mobile Bay. On 5 August, with three other monitors, Tecumseh, Winnebago, and Chickasaw, she formed a screen to the starboard of the squadron’s wooden ships to protect them from the guns of Fort Morgan which they would pass at close range while entering the bay.

In the course of the battle, she engaged the Confederate ram Tennessee and received her surrender. Thereafter, her 15-inch Dahlgren guns added to the bombardment of Fort Morgan, the last Confederate stronghold in Mobile Bay, which surrendered 23 August.

Mississippi River operations

In November Manhattan sailed to New Orleans, Louisiana and later to the mouth of the Red River, remaining there until May 1865. Thence she returned to New Orleans, where, in August, she was laid up in ordinary. On 15 June 1869, while still inactive, she was renamed Neptune, only to resume her original name 10 August.

Post-war service

In 1870 Manhattan was taken to Key West, Florida, laid up for a short time, and then taken to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she was fitted out 1872‑73. Recommissioned 19 November 1873, she returned to Key West for fleet maneuvers and then proceeded on to Pensacola, Florida.

On 25 April 1876 she departed the west coast of Florida and sailed to Port Royal, South Carolina. She cruised off the Carolinas until June 1877, when she sailed to Norfolk, Virginia. The following year she was towed up the James River and anchored at Brandon, Virginia. Moved to City Point, Virginia in 1881 and then to Richmond, Virginia in 1888, she was finally taken to Philadelphia and laid up at League Island where she remained until after the turn of the century.

Final decommissioning

Struck from the Navy list 14 December 1901, she was sold 24 March 1902.

See also


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