USS Suwanee (1864)

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Name: USS Suwanee
Namesake: An alternative spelling for the Suwannee River in Georgia and Florida
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: on 13 March 1864
at Chester, Pennsylvania
Acquired: date unknown
Commissioned: 23 January 1865
Out of service: 9 July 1868
Struck: 1868 (est.)
Fate: sunk, 9 July 1868
near British Columbia
General characteristics
Displacement: 1,030 tons
Length: 255 ft 0 in (77.72 m)
Beam: 35 ft 0 in (10.67 m)
Draught: depth of hold 12' 0"
draft 9' 0"
Propulsion: steam engine
side wheel-propelled
double ended
Speed: 15 knots
Complement: 159
Armament: two 100-pounder Parrott rifles
four 9” Dahlgren smoothbores
two 24-pounder howitzers
two 20-pounder Dahlgren rifles

The first USS Suwanee (1864) was a large (1,030-ton) steamer commissioned by the Union Navy in its struggle against the Confederate States of America in the American Civil War.

With her large crew of 159 sailors and officers and powerful guns, Suwanee served the Union Navy as a heavy gunboat on the high seas, searching for merchant raiders and blockade runners.

Built in Pennsylvania in 1864

Suwanee -- a double-ended, iron-hulled, side-wheel gunboat built at Chester, Pennsylvania -- was launched on 13 March 1864, and was commissioned on 23 January 1865, Comdr. Paul Shirley in command.

Civil War operations

Ordered to the Pacific Ocean, the new double-ender departed Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at dawn on 17 February 1865 and proceeded via New York City down the Atlantic coast of the Americas looking for Confederate commerce raiders, especially for CSS Shenandoah, which had been plaguing Northern shipping.

She then steamed up the Pacific coast and arrived at Acapulco, Mexico, where she joined the Pacific Squadron on 30 July. The side-wheeler was promptly ordered to sea in quest of Shenandoah.

After the Southern cruiser Shenandoah surrendered at Liverpool, England, late in the year, Suwanee cruised along the Pacific coast from Mexico to Canada.

Sunk, near British Columbia

On 9 July 1868, she was wrecked in Shadwell Passage, Queen Charlotte Sound, British Columbia.


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

See also

External links