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USS Mary Sanford (1862)
Career (US)
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: 1862
Acquired: 13 July 1863
Commissioned: 20 August 1863
Decommissioned: 21 June 1865
Struck: 1865 (est.)
Fate: sold, 13 July 1865
General characteristics
Displacement: 457 tons
Length: 102 ft (31 m)
Beam: 31 ft 6 in (9.60 m)
Draught: 12 ft 6 in (3.81 m)
Propulsion: steam engine screw-propelled
Speed: 9 knots
Complement: not known
Armament: two 24-pounder guns
Armour: wood

USS Mary Sanford (1862) was a steamer acquired by the Union Navy during the American Civil War.

She was used by the Union Navy for various tasks, including carrying supplies and acting as a hospital ship, a picket ship, and as a tugboat.

Built in Connecticut in 1862[edit | edit source]

A wooden screw steamer built at Stonington, Connecticut, in 1862, Mary Sanford was purchased by the Navy 13 July 1863 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from William R. Dinsmore, and commissioned 20 August 1863 at the New York Navy Yard, Acting Master’s Mate Alfred P. Hich in command.

Civil War service[edit | edit source]

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

Assigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, Mary Sanford served as a transport during 1863, ferrying sick men to northern ports, towing tug John Adams from Morris Island to Port Royal, South Carolina, 5 September, and carrying out buoys at Hampton Roads the 18th. She arrived Morris Island 1 November with ordnance stores, departing as a gunboat 24 December in the expedition to Murrell’s Inlet to destroy a schooner trying to run the blockade and to disperse Confederates that had been harassing Union gunboats there.

Freeing Georgia slaves on the White Oak Creek[edit | edit source]

After this successful expedition, Mary Sanford was stationed off Charleston, South Carolina, as part of the blockade 4 January 1864, and served in the blockade there until transferring to Big Scatilla River in the early autumn. With Braziliera, she freed slaves on a plantation on White Oak Creek, Georgia, 15 October, engaging and driving off Confederate cavalry at Yellow Bluff.

Post-war decommissioning, sale and civilian career[edit | edit source]

After the end of the conflict, Sanford decommissioned 21 June 1865 at Philadelphia and was sold there at public auction 13 July. Redocumented 16 August 1865, she continued to serve American commerce until 1871.

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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