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USS Massasoit (1863)
USS Massasoit (1864-1867).jpg
Career (US)
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: 8 March 1863
Commissioned: 8 March 1864
Decommissioned: 31 July 1864
In service: 25 August 1864
Out of service: 27 June 1865
Struck: 1867 (est.)
Fate: sold, 15 October 1867
General characteristics
Displacement: 974 tons
Length: 205 ft (62 m)
Beam: 35 ft (11 m)
Draught: 8 ft 8 in (2.64 m)
Propulsion: steam engine
side wheel-propelled
Speed: 8.5 knots
Complement: not known
Armament: two 100-pounder guns
four 9” smoothbore guns
two 24-pounder guns
two 12-pounder guns

USS Massasoit (1863) was a steamer purchased by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She was used by the Union Navy for anti-raider duty, bombardment duty, dispatch duty, and as a gunboat stationed off Confederate ports to prevent their trading with foreign countries.

Launched in Boston in 1863[edit | edit source]

Massasoit was launched 8 March 1863 by Curtis & Tilden, Boston, Massachusetts; commissioned 8 March 1864, Lt. Comdr. Edward Barrett in command; but did not leave the Navy Yard before decommissioning 31 July 1864.

Civil War service[edit | edit source]

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

Recommissioned 25 August 1864 in the tense days before General William Tecumseh Sherman’s “march to the sea,” she first patrolled the New England coast for Confederate raiders. In October Massasoit joined Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter’s North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. After several escort voyages from New York City to Hampton Roads, Virginia, she served on picket duty on the James River, in Virginia. She took part in the 24 January 1865 duel with Confederate batteries at Howlett’s House, and the following months stood by to prevent any southern rams from reaching the coast.

Carrying dispatches for General William Sherman[edit | edit source]

Ordered 6 April to carry dispatches to General William Tecumseh Sherman in North Carolina, she remained on duty in the Sounds of North Carolina in the last days of the Civil War.

Final decommissioning and sale[edit | edit source]

Entering New York Harbor 18 June, Massasoit decommissioned 27 June 1865 and was sold 15 October 1867.

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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