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Ship Information (from DANFS)1,2:

Name: USS Lilac Type: Steam Tug Tonnage: 129
Length: 92’ Beam: 19’ Draught: 8’
Speed: Max: 9 knots, Avg.: 4 knots Complement: 17 men Class: Not Listed.
Armament: May 4, 1863: 1 12-pdr. rifle, 1 heavy 12-pdr. Smoothbore

November 9, 1864: 1 heavy 12-pdr. Smoothbore

Namesake: A shrub found in Europe and North America noted for its large panicles of fragrant pink-purple flowers.

Images:

Image Needed (Does One Exist?)

 

Captain(s):
Acting Ensign Joseph A. Chadwick
Captain Image

Acting Master’s Mate George W. Lane
Captain Image

Captain 3
Captain Image

 

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

  • Not Present (North Carolina)3

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)4

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

  • Not Present (North Carolina)5

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

  • Not Present (North Carolina)6,7,8

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)9,10

Norfolk, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (December 15, 1864)11

  • Captain: Not Listed. (December 15, 1864)12
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:
    • 1 x heavy 12-pdr. Smoothbore (November 9, 1864)13
    • 2 x “guns” (December 15, 1864)14
  • Note: On December 15, 1864, this ship is noted as a “Class 4” vessel.15

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

Norfolk, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (January 1 and February 1 & 25, 1865)16,17,18

James River, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy19,20

  • Captain:
    • Not Listed. (January 1, 1865)21
    • Acting Ensign Joseph A. Chadwick (January 15 and February 1 & 15, 1865)22,23,24
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament: 2 x “guns” (January 15 and February 1 & 15, 1865)25,26,27
  • Note: On January 15 and February 1 & 15, 1865, this ship is noted as a “Class 4” vessel.28,29,30

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

Norfolk, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (March 18, 1865)31

James River, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (April 1 & 15, 1865)32,33

  • Captain:
    • Acting Ensign Joseph A. Chadwick (March 18, 1865)34
    • Acting Master’s Mate George W. Lane (April 1 & 15, 1865)35,36
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament: Armament: 2 x “guns” (March 18 and April 1 & 15, 1865)37,38,39
  • Note: On March 18 and April 1 & 15, 1865, this ship is noted as a “Screw Class” vessel.40,41,42

 

Siege of Petersburg Battles:

  • TBD

 

Siege of Petersburg Involvement:43

The first Lilac, a steam tug built at Philadelphia early in 1863, was acquired by the Navy 15 April 1863; and commissioned at Philadelphia 28 April 1863. The new tug joined the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron at Hampton Roads 2 May. During the remainder of 1863, she operated in the Roads and on the lower James River performing dispatch, picket, and towing duty.

[SOPO Editor’s Note: This ship’s earlier Civil War service has been omitted.]

Early in 1864 Rear Adm. S. P. Lee ordered Lilac to Beaufort, N.C., for harbor defense and towing. Her service there continued until December [1864] and won her Admiral Lee’s praise as “very useful.”

As the year waned, Lilac returned to Norfolk to help tighten the noose which Grant and Porter were closing around Richmond. On 4 April [1865], as Lee’s valiant army was at last about to be driven from the South’s capitol, Lilac captured Confederate Army tug Seaboard at Tree Hill Bridge which spanned the James below Richmond. As the Confederacy crumbled, Lilac continued to operate in the James until she steamed north late in May [1865]. She decommissioned 16 June 1865 and was sold at public auction at New York to H. G. Farrington 12 July 1865. Redocumented as Eutaw 5 October 1865, the tug served commercial shipping until abandoned in 1888.

 

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. 127
      3. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 157158
      4. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 324325
      5. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 370371
      6. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 410412
      7. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 462463
      8. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 514515
      9. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 3940
      10. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 140142
      11. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 192194
      12. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 192194
      13. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 1, p. 127
      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. 192194
      16. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 398400
      17. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 722724
      18. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 5455
      19. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 597599
      20. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
      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. 597599
      26. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 722724
      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. 597599
      29. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 722724
      30. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
      31. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
      32. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
      33. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
      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 XII, pp. 9394
      36. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
      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. “Lilac I (Steam Tug).” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/l/lilac-steam-tug.html.

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