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Ship Information (from DANFS)1,2:

Name: USS Miami Type: Double-Ender Sidewheel Steamer Tonnage: 730
Length: 208’2” Beam: 33’2” Draught: October 18, 1864: 8’6”, Light: 7’
Speed: Max: 8 knots, Avg.: 4 knots Complement: 134 men Class: Not Listed.
Armament: December 3, 1864 and March 31, 1865: 1 100‑pdr Parrott rifle, 6 9″ Dahlgren Smoothbores, 1 24‑pdr.
Namesake: A city and port in southeastern Florida on Biscayne Bay.

Images:

NH 46255: USS Miami (1862-65)3

 

Captain(s):
Acting Volunteer Lieutenant George W. Graves
Captain Image

Captain 2
Captain Image

Captain 3
Captain Image

 

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

Not Present (North Carolina, and “worn out, ordered up for repairs”)4

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:

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

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:

Third Offensive Order of Battle (July 1-31, 1864): Fourth Division (James River) | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (July 31, 1864)5

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:
  • Note: On July 31, 1864, this ship is noted as “repairing at Norfolk.”6

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

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:
  • Note: On August 17, 1864, this ship is noted as “to be sent to Philadelphia for repairs when services can be spared.”8

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)9,10,11

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:
  • Notes:
    • On September 1 & 16, 1864, this ship is noted as “in very bad condition; to be sent to Philadelphia when services can be spared.”12,13
    • On October 1, 1864, this ship is noted as in “James River; in very bad condition; to be sent to Philadelphia when her services can be spared.”14

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

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:

Seventh Offensive Order of Battle (November 1-December 31, 1864): James River, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (November 1 and December 5 & 15, 1864)15,16,17

  • Captain: Acting Volunteer Lieutenant George W. Graves (November 1 and December 5 & 15, 1864)18,19,20
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:
    • 1 x 100‑pdr Parrott rifle, 6 x 9″ Dahlgren Smoothbores, 1 x 24‑pdr. (December 3, 1864)21
    • 8 x “guns” (December 15, 1864)22
  • Notes:
    • On November 12, 1864, this ship was located in the James River at “City Point” and was classified as a “gunboat.”23
    • On December 15, 1864, this ship is noted as a “Class 3” vessel.24

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 & 25, 1865)25,26,27,28,29

  • Captain: Acting Volunteer Lieutenant George W. Graves (January 1 & 15 and February 1 & 15, 1865)30,31,32,33
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament: 8 x “guns” (January 1 & 15 and February 1 & 15, 1865)34,35,36,37
  • Note: On January 1 & 15 and February 1 & 15, 1865, this ship is noted as a “Class 3” vessel.38,39,40,41

Ninth Offensive Order of Battle (March 1-April 2, 1865): James River, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (March 18 and April 1 & 15, 1865)(at City Point April 1 & 15)42,43,44

  • Captain: Acting Volunteer Lieutenant George W. Graves (March 18 and April 1 & 15, 1865)45,46,47
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:
    • 8 x “guns” (March 18 and April 1 & 15, 1865)48,49,50
    • 1 x 100‑pdr Parrott rifle, 6 x 9″ Dahlgren Smoothbores, 1 x 24‑pdr. (March 31, 1865)51
  • Note: On March 18 and April 1 & 15, 1865, this ship is noted as a “Paddle Class” vessel.52,53,54

 

Siege of Petersburg Battles:

 

Siege of Petersburg Involvement:57

The first Miami, a side‑wheel, double‑ender gunboat, was launched by Philadelphia Navy Yard 16 November 1861; sponsored by Miss Ann Ingersoll; and commissioned there 29 January 1862, Lt. Abram Davis Harrell in command…

[SOPO Editor’s Note: Miami’s early war exploits were removed from this summary.]

On 20 April [1864] Plymouth fell to the southern attack. Albemarle’s threat to Union naval supremacy in North Carolina waters was ended 27 October [1864] when Lt. William B. Cushing exploded a spar torpedo under the ironclad-s overhanging armor, tearing a hole in her wooden hull.

Shifting to the James River to support General Grant’s drive on Richmond, Miami engaged Confederate batteries at Wilcox’s Landing, Va. [on August 3, 1864]. Proceeding toward heavy firing Miami had discovered batteries at Wilcox’s Landing firing on Union transports. He immediately open a brisk cannonade, and after an hour the Confederates withdrew. Next day [August 4, 1864], Miami, accompanied by Osceola, drove off batteries which were firing on another group of transports near Harrison’s Landing, on the James River. Throughout the embattled South, Union gunboats kept communications and supply lines open despite the dogged determination of the Confederates to sever them.

For the remainder of the war Miami operated in the James playing an important role in the naval effort, assisting Grant’s unrelenting pressures on the Confederate capitol which finally forced the gallant Lee to surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, 9 April 1865. The double‑ender decommissioned at Philadelphia 22 May 1865 and was sold at auction in Philadelphia 10 August 1865. Documented 30 November 1865, Miami served American commerce until 1869.

 

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. 143
    3. “NH 46255 USS Miami (1862-65).” Naval History and Heritage Command, www.history.navy.mil/content/history/nhhc/our-collections/photography/numerical-list-of-images/nhhc-series/nh-series/NH-46000/NH-46255.html. Title: USS Miami (1862-65) Description: Photographed during the Civil War. Frank W. Hackett, a former officer of the ship, wrote of this photograph in 1910: (it) represents the Miami coaling from a schooner out in the sound somewhere, near Roanoke Island. That indicates that the photograph was taken in 1862-64, while Miami was serving in the North Carolina Sounds. It may have been taken at the same time as Photo # NH 60873, a view on board the ship. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Catalog #: NH 46255
    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. 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, 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. 462463
    11. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 514515
    12. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 410412
    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, Series 2, Volume 1, p. 143
    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, p. 61
    24. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 192194
    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 XII, pp. 5455
    30. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 398400
    31. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 597599
    32. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 722724
    33. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
    34. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 398400
    35. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 597599
    36. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 722724
    37. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
    38. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 398400
    39. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 597599
    40. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 722724
    41. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
    42. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
    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. 7173
    46. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
    47. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
    48. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
    49. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
    50. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
    51. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 1, p. 143
    52. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
    53. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
    54. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
    55. “Miami I (SwStr).” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/m/miami-i.html.
    56. “Miami I (SwStr).” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/m/miami-i.html.
    57. “Miami I (SwStr).” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/m/miami-i.html.

    ***



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