USS Vermont (1848)

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USS Vermont (at left) and USS New Orleans (right)
Career (USA) 100x35px
Ordered: 29 April 1816
Builder: Boston Navy Yard
Laid down: September 1818
Launched: 15 September 1848
Commissioned: 30 January 1862
Struck: 19 December 1901
Fate: Sold 17 April 1902
General characteristics
Class and type: North Carolina
Tons burthen: 2,633
Length: 197 ft 1.5 in (60.084 m)
Beam: 53 ft 6 in (16.31 m)
Depth of hold: 21' 6"
Propulsion: sail
Complement: 820
Armament: twenty 8” shell guns
sixty-four 32-pounder guns

USS Vermont (1848) was originally intended to be a ship of the line for the U.S. Navy when laid down in 1818, but was not commissioned until 1862, when she was too outdated to be used as anything but a stores and receiving ship.

Built at the Boston Navy Yard

Vermont was one of nine 74-gun warships authorized by United States Congress on 29 April 1816. She was laid down at the Boston Navy Yard in September 1818, finished about 1825, and kept on the stocks until finally launched at Boston, Massachusetts on 15 September 1848 in the interest of both space and fire safety considerations. However Vermont was not commissioned at this time. Instead the already aged ship-of-the-line remained in ordinary at Boston until the outbreak of the American Civil War in April 1861.

Civil War service

Assigned to duty with the South Atlantic blockade

At this time, the cavernous hull of the vessel was badly needed as a store and receiving ship at Port Royal, South Carolina, and she was commissioned at Boston on 30 January 1862, Comdr. Augustus S. Baldwin in command. She received orders to sail for Port Royal for duty with Rear Admiral Samuel F. Du Pont's South Atlantic Blockading Squadron on 17 February and left Boston on 24 February under tow by the steamer Kensington.

Trapped in a North Atlantic storm

That evening, a violent northwest gale accompanied by snow struck the vessels while off Cape Cod Light, Massachusetts. Kensington let go the tow lines, but Vermont refused to obey her helm, broached, and had all her sails and most of her boats blown and torn away. The gale raged for 50 hours; and, by the morning of the 26th, Vermont was drifting eastward with no rudder, her berth deck flooded, and much of the interior of the vessel destroyed. Later, on the 26th, Vermont sighted the schooner Flying Mist, hailed her, put a man on board and persuaded her captain to return to the east coast and report the helpless condition of the ship to naval authorities. Rescue vessels began to reach the stricken ship on 7 March and enabled Vermont to sail into Port Royal under her own power on 12 April.

Service as an auxiliary

Vermont remained anchored at Port Royal, where she served the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron as an ordnance, hospital, receiving, and store ship and drew praise from Rear Admiral Du Pont. Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles ordered the vessel to return to New York City for "public service" on 25 July 1864. She left Port Royal on 2 August and was replaced there by her sister ship-of-the-line New Hampshire.

File:USS Vermont hulk 1898.jpg
Vermont at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1898.

Post-war service

Vermont remained at New York City for the next 37 years, serving both as a store and receiving ship. She was condemned and struck from the Navy list on 19 December 1901 and was sold at New York on 17 April 1902.


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

See also