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USS Commodore Morris (1862)
Career (US)
Name: USS Commodore Morris
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: 1862
Acquired: 5 August 1862
Commissioned: 19 November 1862
Decommissioned: 24 June 1865
Struck: est. 1865
Fate: sold, 12 July 1865
General characteristics
Type: Gunboat
Displacement: 532 long tons (541 t)
Length: 154 ft (47 m) (estimated)
Beam: 32 ft 6 in (9.91 m) (estimated)
Draft: 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m)
Propulsion: Steam engine
side-wheel propelled
Speed: 7 kn (8.1 mph; 13 km/h)
Complement: 106
Armament: 1 × 100-pounder rifle, 1 × 9 in (230 mm) smoothbore gun, 4 × 24-pounder howitzers

USS Commodore Morris (1862) was a ferryboat acquired by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. Ferryboats were of great value, since — because of their flat bottom and shallow draft — they could navigate streams and shallow waters that other ships could not.

Built in New York City in 1862[edit | edit source]

Commodore Morris — an armed, side-wheel ferryboat — was built in 1862 at New York City; purchased by the Navy on 5 August 1862; fitted out at New York Navy Yard; and commissioned on 19 November 1862, Lieutenant Commander J. H. Gillis in command.

Civil War operations[edit | edit source]

Assigned to the North Atlantic Blockade[edit | edit source]

Assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, Commodore Morris' entire service was in the rivers and creeks of Virginia. Serving on patrol, and as picket, she also transported troops, dragged for mines, towed disabled ships, and sent parties ashore which took prisoners and food supplies.

In January 1863, she sailed up the Pamunkey River in a joint Army-Navy expedition which destroyed a railroad bridge and burned a ferryboat, as well as taking a small steamer. In her patrols from 20 January–April 1863 she took prize a sloop and 65 oyster boats. Several times she engaged Confederate installations and cavalry ashore, most notably in the action with batteries at Trent's Reach on 16 May 1864 and near Malvern Hill on 14 and 16 July.

End-of-war decommissioning[edit | edit source]

Commodore Morris arrived at New York on 17 June 1865. There she was decommissioned on 24 June, and sold on 12 July.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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

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