USS Atlanta

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in Union Navy

Editor’s Note: Do you have information on this ship’s role at the Siege of Petersburg?  Please contact us using the Contact button in the menu at the top of the screen.  We are happy to exchange information with other researchers.

Ship Information (from DANFS)1,2:

Name: USS Atlanta Type: Ironclad Ram Tonnage: 1,006
Length: 204’ Beam: 41’ Draught: 15’9”
Speed: Max: 10 knots, in a seaway: 4 knots Complement: 162 men Class: N/A
Armament: 2 150-pdr. r., 2 100-pdr. sb
Namesake: A city in northwestern Georgia. Originally called Terminus and later Marthasville, the community was renamed Atlanta when it was incorporated as a city in 1847. Since Atlanta served as the center of the South’s system of military supplies during the first three years of the Civil War, General William Tecumseh Sherman made her a main objective in his drive across the Confederacy to the sea. The city, which was almost completely destroyed by Sherman’s artillery during the siege in the late summer of 1864, was rebuilt with comparative rapidity during the Reconstruction period. Atlanta became the state capital in 1868 and has since grown into one of the South’s most important centers of industry, transportation, and finance.

Images:

Confederate ram Atlanta (after capture), Trent's Reach, James River, Va.

3

Captain(s):
Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Thomas J. Woodward
ThomasJWoodwardUSNavy4

Captain 2
Captain Image

Captain 3
Captain Image

 

First Offensive Order of Battle (June 13-18, 1864): James River | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (June 17, 1864)5

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  • Note: On June 17, 1864, this ship is noted as “off Fort Powhatan” and was also noted as “above Newport News.”6

Second Offensive Order of Battle (June 19-30, 1864):

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Third Offensive Order of Battle (July 1-31, 1864): Fourth Division (James River) | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (July 31, 1864)7

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  • Note: On July 31, 1864, this ship is noted as “repairing at Norfolk.”8

Fourth Offensive Order of Battle (August 1-31, 1864): Fourth Division (James River) | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (August 17, 1864)9

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  • Note: On August 17, 1864, this ship is noted as “repairing at Norfolk.”10

Fifth Offensive Order of Battle (September 1-October 13, 1864): Norfolk Navy Yard, Va. (repairing) | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (September 1 & 16 and October 1, 1864)11,12,13

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  • Notes:
    • On September 1, 1864, this ship is noted as “repairing, July 18, 1864.”14
    • On September 16 and October 1, 1864, this ship is noted as “Second Division, repairing.”15,16

Sixth Offensive Order of Battle (October 14-31, 1864):

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
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Seventh Offensive Order of Battle (November 1-December 31, 1864):

James River, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy(November 1 and December 5, 1864)17,18

Hampton Roads, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (December 15, 1864)19

  • Captain: Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Thomas J. Woodward (November 1 and December 5 & 15, 1864)20,21,22
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament: 3  x “guns” (December 15, 1864)23
  • Notes:
    • On November 12, 1864, this ship was located in the James River at “Newport News” and was classified as an “ironclad.”24
    • Note: On December 15, 1864, this ship is noted as a “Class 3” vessel.25

Eighth Offensive Order of Battle (January 1-February 28, 1865):

Hampton Roads, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (January 1 & 15, 1865)26,27

James River, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (February 1, 15, and 25, 1865)28,29,30

  • Captain: Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Thomas J. Woodward (January 1 & 15 and February 1 & 15, 1865)31,32,33,34
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament: 3 x “guns” (January 1 & 15 and February 1 & 15, 1865)35,36,37,38
  • Note: On January 1 & 15 and February 1 & 15, 1865, this ship is noted as a “Class 3” vessel.39,40,41,42

Ninth Offensive Order of Battle (March 1-April 2, 1865): James River, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (March 18 and April 1 & 15, 1865)43,44,45

  • Captain: Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Thomas J. Woodward (March 18 and April 1 & 15, 1865)46,47,48
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament: 3 x “guns” (March 18 and April 1 & 15, 1865)49,50,51
  • Notes:
    • On March 18 and April 1 & 15, 1865, this ship is noted as a “Screw Class” vessel.52,53,54
    • On April 1, 1865, this vessel was located on the James River at Turkey Bend.55
    • On April 15, 1865, this vessel was located on the James River at Trent’s Reach.56

 

Siege of Petersburg Battles:

  • TBD

 

Siege of Petersburg Involvement:57

After completion of temporary repairs at Port Royal, Du Pont placed the prize in temporary commission on 26 September and sent her to Philadelphia where she was condemned by a prize court, repaired in the Federal navy yard, and commissioned again on 2 February 1864. Still bearing her Confederate Navy name while in the Federal Navy, Atlanta was assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

During most of her career under Union colors, Atlanta was stationed up the James River helping other Northern warships support General Grant’s operations against Richmond. Under the command of Acting Lieutenant Thomas J. Woodward, her main service was to guard against a foray from the Confederate capital of the small fleet of Southern warships. On 21 May 1864, she and schooner-rigged screw steamer Dawn shelled Confederate cavalry which was attacking Fort Powhatan on the James. Their gunfire broke up the assault and dispersed the Southern troopers.

After the collapse of the Confederacy, Atlanta steamed north to Philadelphia where she was decommissioned on 21 June 1865. She was sold at auction at the Philadelphia Navy Yard to Sam Ward on 4 May 1869. No record of her subsequent fate has been found.

Bibliography:

    Siege of Petersburg Documents Which Mention This Unit:

    Sources:

    1. “DANFS.” Naval History and Heritage Command, www.history.navy.mil/content/history/nhhc/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs.html.
    2. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 1, p. 40
    3. Confederate ram Atlanta after capture, Trent’s Reach, James River, Va. (Photographed between 1861 and 1865, printed between 1880 and 1889) Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2013646185/>.
    4. Thomas J. Woodward image. MOLLUS-Mass Civil War Photograph Collection, Volume 119, Page 6113.  United States Army Heritage and Education Center, Carlisle, PA.
    5. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 157158
    6. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 157158
    7. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 324325
    8. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 324325
    9. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 370371
    10. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 370371
    11. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 410412
    12. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 462463
    13. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 514515
    14. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 410412
    15. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 462463
    16. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 514515
    17. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 3940
    18. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 140142
    19. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 192194
    20. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 3940
    21. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 140142
    22. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 192194
    23. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 192194
    24. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, p. 61
    25. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 192194
    26. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 398400
    27. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 597599
    28. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 722724
    29. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
    30. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 5455
    31. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 398400
    32. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 597599
    33. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 722724
    34. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
    35. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 398400
    36. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 597599
    37. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 722724
    38. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
    39. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 398400
    40. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 597599
    41. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 722724
    42. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
    43. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
    44. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
    45. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
    46. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
    47. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
    48. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
    49. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
    50. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
    51. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
    52. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
    53. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
    54. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
    55. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
    56. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
    57. “Atlanta I.” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/content/history/nhhc/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/a/atlanta-i.html.

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