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Ship Information (from DANFS)1,2:

Name: USS Gettysburg Type: Sidewheel Steamer Tonnage: 950
Length: 211’ Beam: 26’3” Draught: Loaded: 10’, Light: 8’8”
Speed: Max: 15 knots, Avg.: 9 knots Complement: 96 men Class: Not Listed.
Armament: June 30, 1864: 1 30-pdr. Parrott rifle, 2 12-pdr. rifles, 4 24-pdr. howitzers

December 31, 1864: 1 30-pdr. Parrott rifle, 2 32-pdr. 27 cwt., 4 24-pdr. howitzers

Namesake: A city in southern Pennsylvania, site of one of the most important battles of the Civil War 1-3 July 1863. It was at the dedication of the National Cemetery on the battleground 19 November 1863 that President Lincoln delivered his immortal Gettysburg Address.

Images:

NH 53730-A: USS Gettysburg.3

 

Captain(s):
Lieutenant Roswell H. Lamson
RoswellHLamsonUSNavyv15p7434

Captain 2
Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Samuel B. Washburn

Acting Master Charles B. Dahlgren
Captain Image

Captain 4
Captain Image

 

First Offensive Order of Battle (June 13-18, 1864):

  • Not Present (away in NC)5

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

  • Not Present (source needed)
  • Armament: 1 x 30-pdr. Parrott rifle, 2 x 12-pdr. rifles, 4 x 24-pdr. howitzers (June 30, 1864)6

Third Offensive Order of Battle (July 1-31, 1864):

  • Not Present (away in NC)7

Fourth Offensive Order of Battle (August 1-31, 1864):

  • Not Present (repairing at Norfolk, but not part of James River Division)8

Fifth Offensive Order of Battle (September 1-October 13, 1864):

  • Not Present (away in NC) (September 1 and October 1, 1864)9,10
  • Not Present (repairing at Norfolk, but not part of James River Division) (September 16, 1864)11

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

  • Not Present (source needed)

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

  • Not Present (away in NC) (November 1 and December 5 & 15, 1864)12,13,14
  • Captain: Lieutenant Roswell H. Lamson (November 1 and December 5 & 15, 1864)15,16,17
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:
    • 7 x “guns” (December 15, 1864)18
    • 1 x 30-pdr. Parrott rifle, 2 x 32-pdr. 27 cwt., 4 x 24-pdr. howitzers (December 31, 1864)19
  • Note: On December 15, 1864, this ship is noted as a “Class 3” vessel.20

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

Not Present (away in NC) (January 1 & 15 and February 1, 1865)21,22,23

Norfolk Navy Yard, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (February 15, 1865)24

  • Captain:
    • Lieutenant Roswell H. Lamson (January 1 & 15 and February 15, 1865)25,26,27
    • Acting Master Charles B. Dahlgren (February 1, 1865)28
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament: 7 x “guns” (January 1 & 15 and February 1 & 15, 1865)29,30,31,32
  • Notes:
    • Gettysburg is not listed in the February 25, 1865 and March 18, 1865 lists of vessels composing the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.  I am unsure where she was located during this time frame.  More research is needed.33,34
    • On January 1 & 15 and February 1, 1865, this ship is noted as a “Class 3” vessel.35,36,37,38

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

??? (prior to April 1, 1865) (see note below)

Ordered to City Point, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (April 1, 1865) 39

Norfolk, Va. (repairing) | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (April 15, 1865)40

  • Captain: Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Samuel B. Washburn (April 1 & 15, 1865)41,42
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament: 7 x “guns” (April 1 & 15, 1865)43,44
  • Notes:
    • Gettysburg is not listed in the February 25, 1865 and March 18, 1865 lists of vessels composing the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.  I am unsure where she was located during this time frame.  More research is needed.45,46
    • Note: On April 1 & 15, 1865, this ship is noted as a “Paddle Class” vessel.47,48

 

Siege of Petersburg Battles:

  • TBD

 

Siege of Petersburg Involvement:49

The first Gettysburg, formerly Douglass, then Margaret and Jessie, was built at Glasgow, Scotland, in 1858, and was captured as a blockade runner 5 November 1863 by Fulton, Keystone State, and Nansemond off Wilmington, N.C. She was purchased from the New York Prize Court by the Navy and commissioned Gettysburg at New York Navy Yard, 2 May 1864, Lieutenant Roswell H. Lamson commanding.

A fast, strong steamer, Gettysburg was assigned blockading duty with the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, and departed New York 7 May 1864. She arrived at Beaufort, N.C., 14 May and from there took station at the entrance to the Cape Fear River.

For the next 7 months, Gettysburg was engaged in the vital business of capturing blockade runners carrying supplies to the strangling South. She captured several snips, and occasionally performed other duties. On 8 October, for instance, she rescued six survivors from schooner Home, which had capsized in a squall.

Gettysburg took part in the the attack on Fort Fisher 24-25 December 1864. Gettysburg assisted with the devastating bombardment prior to the landings by Army troops, and during the actual landings stood in close to shore to furnish cover for the assault. Gettysburg’s boats were used to help transport troops to the beaches.

With the failure of the first attack on the formidable Confederate works, plans were laid for a second assault, this time including a landing force of Sailors and Marines to assault the sea face of the fort. In this attack, 15 January 1865, Gettysburg again engaged the fort in the preliminary bombardment, and furnished a detachment of Sailors under Lieutenant Lamson and other officers in a gallant assault, which was stopped under the very ramparts of Fort Fisher. Lamson and a group of officers and men were forced to spend the night in a ditch under Confederate guns before they could escape. Though failing to take the sea face of Fort Fisher, the attack by the Navy diverted enough of the defenders to make the Army assault successful and insure victory. Gettysburg suffered two men killed and six wounded in the assault.

Gettysburg spent the remaining months of the war on blockade duty off Wilmington, and operated from April to June between Boston and Norfolk carrying freight and passengers. She decommissioned 23 June 1865 at New York Navy Yard.

 

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. 95
      3. “NH 53730-A USS Gettysburg.” Naval History and Heritage Command, www.history.navy.mil/content/history/nhhc/our-collections/photography/numerical-list-of-images/nhhc-series/nh-series/NH-53000/NH-53730-A.html. Download Image: Low (PNG, 319x319px, 56KB) Med (JPEG, 1280x1280px, 77KB) Title: USS Gettysburg Description: (1864-1879) Painting by De Simone, depicting the ship underway in the Bay of Naples, Italy, in 1878. This view is cropped from Photo # NH 53730. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.
      4. Roswell H. Lamson image.  MOLLUS-Mass Civil War Photograph Collection, Vol. 15, Page 743.  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, Series 2, Volume 1, p. 95
      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. 370371
      9. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 410412
      10. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 514515
      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 XI, pp. 3940
      13. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 140142
      14. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 192194
      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. 192194
      19. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 1, p. 95
      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. 398400
      22. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 597599
      23. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 722724
      24. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
      25. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 398400
      26. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 597599
      27. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
      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 XI, pp. 398400
      30. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 597599
      31. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 722724
      32. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
      33. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 5455
      34. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
      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 XII, pp. 9394
      40. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
      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. 9394
      44. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
      45. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 5455
      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. “Gettysburg I (SwStr).” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/g/gettysburg-i.html.

      ***



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