|USS Curlew (1862)|
|Laid down:||date unknown|
|Launched:||1862 at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
|Acquired:||17 December 1862|
|Commissioned:||16 February 1863|
|Decommissioned:||5 July 1865|
|Fate:||sold, 17 August 1865|
|Length:||159 ft (48 m)|
|Beam:||32 ft 1 in (9.78 m)|
|Draught:||4 ft (1.2 m)|
steam engine |
|Armament:||eight 24-pounder howitzers|
Curlew was a light draft vessel, capable of sailing up shallow streams. She was outfitted with eight heavy howitzers, designed for bombardment, and was assigned to the blockade of the Confederate States of America. Because of the light draft and the howitzers, she was assigned as a mortar gunboat, and she operated on Southern waterways during the course of the war.
Built in Pennsylvania in 1862Edit
Curlew, a stern-wheel steamer, was built in 1862 at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as Florence; purchased by the United States Navy on 17 December 1862; converted to a light-draft gunboat and renamed Curlew; and commissioned 16 February 1863, acting Master G. Hentig in command. She was named for the curlew, a large bird having long legs and a long, slender, downward-curved bill.
Civil War operationsEdit
Mississippi River operationsEdit
Sailing from Cairo, Illinois, on 17 February 1863, Curlew joined Admiral David Dixon Porter's fleet for patrol and convoy duty in the Mississippi River and its tributaries. She had occasional skirmishes with the enemy on shore, including those during an expedition with Union Army troops on 2 June 1863 to engage Confederate troops on the Arkansas shore near Island No. 67 and Island No. 68. From 12 to 20 July 1863 Curlew joined other vessels for an expedition into the Red River, Black River, Tensas River, and Ouachita River during which they captured the steamer Louisville'], one of the finest Mississippi River packets, and the steamer Elmira'’, and destroyed stores, two smaller steamers, a large sawmill, and 30,000 feet of lumber.
Service on the Ohio and Tennessee RiversEdit
Curlew served in the Ohio River and the Tennessee River from 23 December 1863 until 14 January 1864, when she arrived at Mound City, Illinois, for repairs. She sailed on 12 March carrying a party from the U.S. Coast Survey for a survey of Grand Gulf, Mississippi, returning to Mound City on 31 May. On 24 May she had a heavy engagement with a 12-gun battery at Gaines Landing, Arkansas, during which she was struck several times.
Returning to Mississippi River operationsEdit
Curlew stood down the Mississippi River again on 30 June 1864 and cruised between Natchez, Mississippi and Vicksburg, Mississippi, having several encounters with enemy land forces. On 24 October she sailed up river to patrol the Ohio River and the Tennessee River.
From February to 17 June 1865 Curlew conducted surveys in the river around Cairo, Illinois, and Mound City, Illinois.
Curlew was decommissioned on 5 July 1865 and sold 17 August 1865.
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