USS Delta (aka Picket Boat No. 4) (aka Tug No. 4)

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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 Delta (aka Picket Boat No. 4) (aka Tug No. 4) Type: Tug Tonnage: 50
Length: 66’ Beam: 14’ Draught: 7’8”
Speed: Max: 9 knots Complement: Not listed. Class: N/A
Armament: Not listed.
Namesake: The fourth letter of the Greek alphabet; an alluvial deposit at the mouth of a river; star.

Images:

01767vDeltaGammaCLOSEUP3

 

Captain(s):
Acting Master’s Mate William F. Gragg
Captain Image

Captain 2
Captain Image

Captain 3
Captain Image

 

First Offensive Order of Battle (June 13-18, 1864): James River, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (June 17, 1864)4

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  • Crew Strength:
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  • Note: On June 17, 1864, this ship is noted as “unarmed; fitting with torpedoes” and “above Wilson’s Wharf” in the James River.5

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)6

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Fourth Offensive Order of Battle (August 1-31, 1864): Fourth Division (James River) | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (August 1 & 17, 1864)7,8

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  • Note: On August 17, 1864, this ship is noted as a “torpedo boat.”9

Fifth Offensive Order of Battle (September 1-October 13, 1864): Second Division (Hampton Roads and James River) | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (September 1 & 16 and October 1, 1864)10,11,12

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  • Notes:
    • On September 16, 1864, this ship is noted as “fitted as torpedo boat.”13
    • On October 1, 1864, this ship is noted as in “James River; fitted as torpedo boat.”14

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

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Seventh Offensive Order of Battle (November 1-December 31, 1864):

Norfolk Navy Yard, Va. (repairing) | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (November 1, 1864)15

James River, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (December 5 & 15, 1864)16,17

  • Captain:
    • Not listed. (November 1 and December 5, 1864)18,19
    • Acting Master’s Mate William F. Gragg (December 15, 1864)20
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:
  • Notes:
    • On December 5, 1864, this ship is noted as having its name changed to “Delta.”21
    • On December 15, 1864, this ship is noted as a “Class 4” vessel.22

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

James River, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (January 1 & 15 and February 1 & 15, 1865)23,24,25,26

Norfolk Navy Yard, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (February 25, 1865)27

  • Captain: Acting Master’s Mate William F. Gragg (January 1 & 15 and February 1 & 15, 1865)28,29,30,31
  • Crew Strength:
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  • Note: On January 1 & 15 and February 1 & 15, 1865, this ship is noted as a “Class 4” vessel.32,33,34,35

Ninth Offensive Order of Battle (March 1-April 2, 1865):

Norfolk Navy Yard, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (March 18, 1865)36

James River, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (April 1, 1865) (Had moved to North Carolina Sounds prior to April 15, 1865)37,38,39

  • Captain: Acting Master’s Mate W. F. Gragg (March 18 and April 1 & 15, 1865)40,41,42
  • Crew Strength:
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  • Note: On March 18 and April 1 & 15, 1865, this ship is noted as a “Screw Class” vessel.43,44,45

 

Siege of Petersburg Battles:

  • TBD

 

Siege of Petersburg Involvement:46

The first Delta, a steam tug, was purchased as Linda at Philadelphia 3 June 1864, and renamed Delta, 27 November. She was also known as Tug No. 4. Delta was sent to Hampton Roads, Va., to be fitted as a torpedo tug, and operated in the James River under the command of Acting Master’s Mate William F. Gragg until 28 March 1865. She was transferred to the sounds of North Carolina for duty, and for a short time in April 1865 was placed at the disposal of the Army with four other torpedo tugs. Delta was sent to New York at the close of the war and sold there 5 September 1865.

 

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. 73
    3. Deep Bottom, Va., vicinity. Transport Linda of Philadelphia and a monitor Onondaga? on the James. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2018666829/>. SOPO Editor’s Note: This is a closeup of Picket Boats #3 and #4.  The Delta or Picket Boat #4 was originally the Linda of Philadelphia.  The vessel is identified both in the title of the larger image and in the traditional, spot on her stern.  Note the #4 painted on her smokestack. Given this information, it is easy to deduce that the vessel behind her with a “3” on the smokestack is Picket Boat #3, renamed GammaPicket Boat #5, renamed Epsilon, is in the full view of this image.
    4. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 157158
    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. 324325
    7. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 370371
    8. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, p. 326
    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. 410412
    11. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 462463
    12. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 514515
    13. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 462463
    14. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 514515
    15. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 3940
    16. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 140142
    17. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 192194
    18. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 3940
    19. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 140142
    20. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 192194
    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. 398400
    24. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 597599
    25. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 722724
    26. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
    27. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 5455
    28. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 398400
    29. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 597599
    30. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 722724
    31. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
    32. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 398400
    33. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 597599
    34. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 722724
    35. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
    36. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
    37. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
    38. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
    39. “Delta I (Tug).” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/d/delta-i.html.: DANFS entry states that she left on March 28, 1865, but the Official Records list of ships on April 1, 1865 seems to contradict that.  More research is needed.
    40. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
    41. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
    42. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
    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. “Delta I (Tug).” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/d/delta-i.html.

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