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 Kansas Type: Gunboat Tonnage: 625 (593)
Length: 129’6” Beam: 29’ Draught: Loaded, Forward: 9’, Loaded, Aft: 10’6”
Speed: Max: 12 knots, Avg.: 7 knots Complement: 108 men Class: Not Listed.
Armament: January 20, 1864: 1 150-pdr. Parrott rifle, 1 30-pdr. Parrott rifle, 2 12-pdr. rifles, 2 20-pdr. Dahlgren rifles, 2 9″ Dahlgren Smoothbores

September 26, 1864: 1 100-pdr. Parrott rifle, 1 30-pdr. Parrott rifle, 2 12-pdr. rifles, 2 20-pdr. Dahlgren rifles, 2 9″ Dahlgren Smoothbores

March 31, 1865: 2 9” Dahlgren Smoothbores, 1 11” Dahlgren Smoothbore, 2 20-pdr. Parrott rifles, 2 heavy 12-pdrs.

Namesake: The first Kansas was named for the Kansas River, which is formed by the confluence of the Republican and Smoky Hill Rivers at Junction City and northeastern Kansas, and flows east some 200 miles before emptying into the Missouri River at Kansas City.

Images:

02188v: Unknown location. U.S. gunboat Kansas3

 

Captain(s):
Lieutenant Commander Pendleton G. Watmough
Captain Image

Captain 2
Captain Image

Captain 3
Captain Image

 

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

  • Not Present (North Carolina)4

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

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:

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

  • Not Present (North Carolina)5

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

  • Not Present (North Carolina)6
  • Note: The Kansas began repairing at Philadelphia, PA on August 23, 1864.7

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

Not Present (repairing at Philadelphia) (September 1 & 16, 1864)8,9

Not Present (North Carolina) (October 1, 1864)10

  • Armament: 1 x 100-pdr. Parrott rifle, 1 x 30-pdr. Parrott rifle, 2 x 12-pdr. rifles, 2 x 20-pdr. Dahlgren rifles, 2 x 9″ Dahlgren Smoothbores (September 26, 1864)11

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

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:

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

Not Present (North Carolina) (November 1 and December 5, 1864)12,13,14

  • Captain: Lieutenant Commander Pendleton G. Watmough (November 1 and December 5 & 15, 1864)15,16,17
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament: 8 x “guns” (December 15, 1864)18
  • Note: On December 15, 1864, this ship is noted as a “Class 4” vessel.19

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

Not Present (North Carolina) (January 1 & 15 and February 1 & 15, 1865)20,21,22,23

James River, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (February 25, 1865)24

  • Captain: Lieutenant Commander Pendleton G. Watmough (January 1 & 15 and February 1 & 15, 1865)25,26,27,28
  • Crew Strength: 8 x “guns” (January 1 & 15 and February 1 & 15, 1865)29,30,31,32
  • Armament:
  • Note: On January 1 & 15 and February 1 & 15, 1865, this ship is noted as a “Class 4” vessel.33,34,35,36

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

James River, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (March 18 and April 1, 1865)37,38

Moved to Chesapeake Bay (prior to April 15, 1865)39

  • Captain: Lieutenant Commander Pendleton G. Watmough (March 18 and April 1 & 15, 1865)40,41,42
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:
    • 8 x “guns” (March 18 and April 1 & 15, 1865)43,44,45
    • 2 x 9” Dahlgren Smoothbores, 1 x 11” Dahlgren Smoothbore, 2 x 20-pdr. Parrott rifles, 2 x heavy 12-pdrs. (March 31, 1865)46
  • Note: On March 18 and April 1 & 15, 1865, this ship is noted as a “Screw Class” vessel.47,48,49

 

Siege of Petersburg Battles:

  • TBD

 

Siege of Petersburg Involvement:50

The first Kansas was built at Philadelphia Navy Yard with machinery taken from prize steamer Princess Royal; launched 29 September 1863; sponsored by Miss Annie McClellan; and commissioned at Philadelphia 21 December 1863, Lt. Comdr. Pendleton G. Watmough in command.

The day of her commissioning, the gunboat was ordered to Hampton Roads to join the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. She arrived Newport News, Va., 30 December; but engine and boiler trouble required her to return to the Washington Navy Yard for repairs.

In March 1864 the gunboat was stationed at Wilmington, N.C., off New Inlet, where she served during most of the remainder of the war…

[SOPO Editor’s Note: The ship’s time in North Carolina has been omitted here.

After cleanup operations in the Wilmington area, Kansas moved to the James River late in February [1865] to support General Grant’s final drive to Richmond. From time to time during the closing weeks of the war, Kansas supported Army operations ashore with her guns, particularly near Petersburg. The day after General Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House, the gunboat was ordered to a station off Cape Henry to prevent the escape of Confederate sympathizers who were reportedly planning to capture vessels in the bay.

Kansas entered the Philadelphia Navy Yard 23 April [1865] and decommissioned 4 May.

 

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. 117118
      3. Unknown location. U.S. gunboat Kansas built in. (Between 1860 and 1865) Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2018666838/>.
      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. 324325
      6. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 370371
      7. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 410412
      8. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 410412
      9. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 462463
      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, Series 2, Volume 1, p. 117118
      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, Volume XI, pp. 192194
      20. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 398400
      21. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 597599
      22. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 722724
      23. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
      24. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 5455
      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 XI, pp. 722724
      28. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
      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 XI, pp. 398400
      34. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 597599
      35. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 722724
      36. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
      37. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
      38. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
      39. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
      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. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 1, p. 117118
      47. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
      48. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
      49. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
      50. “Kansas I (Gunboat).” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/k/kansas-i.html.

      ***



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