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 Malvern Type: Sidewheel Steamer Tonnage: 627
Length: 239’4” Beam: 23’ Draught: Forward: 7’4”, Aft: 8’5”
Speed: Not Listed. Complement: Not Listed. Class: Not Listed.
Armament: October 14, 1864: 4 20-pdr. Dahlgren rifles, 8 heavy 12-pdr. Smoothbores
Namesake: Malvern Hill is a plateau on the northern bank of the James River, where McClellan, aided greatly by Union gunboats. repulsed Lee’s attack 1 July 1862, saving his army of the Potomac in the final battle of the Seven Days Battle of the peninsular campaign.

Images:

ORNXIPg000USSMalvern3

 

Captain(s):
Lieutenant George M. Bache
Captain Image

Ensign William C. Wise
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)4

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:
  • Note: On June 17, 1864, this ship is noted as “off Tilghman’s Wharf” and “above Newport News” on the James River.5

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

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:

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

Away in North Carolina and Not Present at the Siege of Petersburg | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (July 31, 1864)6

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:
  • Note: At some point between June 17 and July 31, 1864, the USS Malvern left the James River and was sent to North Carolina.  She was serving as flagship on July 31, 1864. More research is needed as to the date she left the James.7,8

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

  • Not Present. (in North Carolina)

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

  • Not Present. (in North Carolina)

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

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament: 4 x 20-pdr. Dahlgren rifles, 8 x heavy 12-pdr. Smoothbores (October 14, 1864)9

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

  • Not Present. (at Hampton Roads)

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

  • Not Present. (in North Carolina)

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

Hampton Roads, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (March 18, 1865)10

James River, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (April 1 & 15, 1864)11,12

  • Captain:
    • Ensign William C. Wise (March 18 and April 1, 1865)13,14
    • Lieutenant George M. Bache (April 15, 1865)15
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament: 12 x “guns” (March 18 and April 1 & 15, 1865)16,17,18
  • Notes:
    • On April 15, 1865, the ship was specifically at City Point, Va.19
    • On March 18 and April 1 & 15, 1865, this ship is noted as a “Paddle Class” vessel.20,21,22
    • At some point between March 18 and April 1, 1865, the USS Malvern proceeded up the James River toward Richmond from Hampton Roads.  I am not sure of the exact date.  More research is needed.

 

Siege of Petersburg Battles:

 

Siege of Petersburg Involvement:24

Malvern was built in 1860 as William G. Hewes by Harlan and Hollingsworth Co., Wilmington, Del., for Charles Morgan-s Southern Steamship Co. She commenced regular service between New York City and New Orleans 11 January 1861.

[Captured by Confederates and used as blockade runner Ella and Annie for a good portion of the war, until recaptured by the Union Navy.]

Malvern was formally commissioned 9 February 1864 at Boston Navy Yard. Assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, she became Admiral Porter’s flagship. She participated in the campaign that resulted in the capture of Fort Fisher, N.C., in December 1864 and January 1865. She captured blockade running steamers Stag and Charlotte 19 January [1865] off New Inlet, N.C., and participated in the attack 18 February [1865] on Fort Anderson, Cape Fear River.

She was frequently utilized for conferences between General Grant, Admiral Porter, and President Lincoln. Her last notable service for the Navy was to convey the President up the James River to Richmond when that city was evacuated by the Confederates 2 April [1865]. Malvern decommissioned 24 October at New York City.

Malvern was sold at auction at New York to S. G. Bogart, who promptly resold her to her original owner. She was again named William G. Hewes and reconditioned for passenger and freight service at Wilmington, Del., during January 1866. Charles Morgan then operated her from New Orleans to the Texas Gulf ports until 1878, when he turned his steamers over to the Louisiana & Texas RR., which he owned.

Hewes served in the West Indies fruit trade for many years. She was caught in a violent gulf storm in February 1895 and wrecked on Colorado Reef off the coast of Cuba.

Civil War Involvement (Erik Heyl’s Early American Steamers)25:

After the outbreak of the Civil War the WILLIAM G. HEWES was seized on April 28, 1861 by Governor Moore of Louisiana and employed to run the blockade to Havana, being also reported by the Flag Offi­cer of the U. S. Eastern Gulf Squadron. She was not registered as a Confederate steamer until April 5, 1862, when the New Orleans authorities issued a Confederate registry showing R. D. Smith of New Orleans as owner and master. The capture of New Orleans by Farragut’s forces made it necessary for the WILLIAM G. HEWES to shift to another port of the South and it was during this time that her name was changed to ELLA & ANNIE. In April 1863 the Importing & Exporting Co. of South Carolina began blockade running operations, running the ELLA & ANNIE between Bermuda and Charleston or Wilmington, N. C. Caught in a hurricane the ELLA & ANNIE limped into Bermuda for repairs on September 11, 1863. After the damage had been repaired she sailed together with the R. E. LEE on November 5, 1863, the two steamers separating off the Carolina coast, the ELLA & ANNIE heading for Wilmington. A storm delayed her arrival until the dawn of November 8, 1863 when she was intercepted by USS NIPHON off New Inlet. A desperate attempt to evade capture was made by ramming the gun­boat, carrying away her bowsprit and part of the stem. But a broadside of the entire starboard bat­tery of USS NIPHON, which killed one man and riddled the hull of the ELLA & ANNIE in more than forty places, brought her to. She was then boarded and seized by the gunboat’s crew. Later a prize crew took her to Boston, Mass., and there she was condemned in prize court.

Sold for $139,000.- to U. S. Navy Department, she was renamed USS MALVERN and after receiving a battery of four 20-pound Parrott rifles and eight 12-pound smooth-bores at Boston Navy Yard, was commissioned December 10, 1863 and at once left in search of the New York and Portland steamer CHESAPEAKE, which had been seized at sea by some of her passengers, who claimed to be Confeder­ates. After calling at Halifax USS MALVERN went to Shelburne, where the CHESAPEAKE was re­ported, then returned to Halifax but left immediately for Sambro, where the CHESAPEAKE was coal­ing. The Federal cruiser found both the CHESAPEAKE and a coal schooner deserted but for three men, when she arrived at Sambro. The CHESAPEAKE was then taken back to Halifax and turned over to British authorities.

Subsequently USS MALVERN became Admiral Porter’s flag-ship when he commanded the North Atlantic Blockading Fleet, and in December 1884 and January 1865 participated in the first and second attacks on Fort Fisher, which caused the surrender of this stronghold. On January 19, 1865 USS MALVERN captured the steamers STAG and CHARLOTTE off New Inlet, both bound for Wilmington with arms and clothing. On February 18, 1865 she was engaged in the attack on Fort Anderson, Cape Fear River. During the final battles around Petersburg USS MALVERN was frequently used for conferences between General Grant, Admiral Porter, especially when President Lincoln came down from Washington.

After the Civil War USS MALVERN was sold at auction at New York to S. G. Bogart for $113,500.-, Bogart quickly reselling her to Charles Morgan, her original owner.

 

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. 133
      3. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, frontispiece
      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. 157158
      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, Series 2, Volume 1, p. 133
      10. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
      11. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
      12. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
      13. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
      14. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
      15. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
      16. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
      17. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
      18. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
      19. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
      20. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
      21. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
      22. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
      23. “Malvern I (Str).” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/content/history/nhhc/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/m/malvern-i.html.
      24. “Malvern I (Str).” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/content/history/nhhc/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/m/malvern-i.html.
      25. Heyl, Erik. Early American Steamers, Volume 1 (Buffalo, NY (self-published?): 1953), pp. 237

      ***



      What are your Top 10 Gettysburg Books? See what a panel of bloggers said recently.

      { 0 comments… add one now }

      Leave a Comment

      Previous post:

      Next post: