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 Unadilla Type: Gunboat Tonnage: 507
Length: 158’ Beam: 28’ Draught: Forward: 9’3”, Aft: 9’6”
Speed: Max: 8 knots, Avg.: 5 knots Complement: Not Listed. Class: Not Listed.
Armament: October 19, 1864: 1 20-pdr. Parrott rifle, 1 11″ Dahlgren Smoothbore, 4 24-pdr. howitzers
Namesake: A river which rises in Columbia County, N.Y., and meanders southwesterly before emptying into the Susquehanna River. Unadilla is an Iroquoian Indian noun meaning “place-of-meeting.”

Images:

NH 42352 USS Unadilla (1861-1869)3

 

Captain(s):
Lieutenant Commander Francis M. Ramsay
Captain Image

Captain 2
Captain Image

Captain 3
Captain Image

 

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

  • Not present at the Siege of Petersburg.

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

  • Not present at the Siege of Petersburg.

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

  • Not present at the Siege of Petersburg.

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

  • Not present at the Siege of Petersburg.

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

  • Not present at the Siege of Petersburg.

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

  • Not present at the Siege of Petersburg.
  • Armament: 1 x 20-pdr. Parrott rifle, 1 x 11″ Dahlgren Smoothbore, 4 x 24-pdr. howitzers (October 19, 1864)4

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

  • Not present at the Siege of Petersburg.

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

Away in North Carolina, not present at the Siege of Petersburg (January 1-February 23, 1865)5,6

James River, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (February 25, 1865)7

  • Captain: Lieutenant Commander Francis M. Ramsay (February 15, 1865)8
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament: 6 x “guns” (February 15, 1865)9
  • Note: On February 15, 1865, this ship is noted as a “Class 4” vessel.10
  • Note: On February 23, 1865, Unadilla was ordered to proceed to Hampton Roads and served in the James River, Va., squadron doing routine reconnaissance work until the end of the war.11

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)12,13,14

  • Captain: Lieutenant Commander Francis M. Ramsay (March 18 and April 1 & 15, 1865)15,16,17
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament: 6 x “guns” (March 18 and April 1 & 15, 1865)18,19,20
  • Note: On March 18 and April 1 & 15, 1865, this ship is noted as a “Screw Class” vessel.21,22,23

 

Siege of Petersburg Battles:

  • TBD

 

Siege of Petersburg Involvement:24

The first Unadilla, a screw gunboat, was laid down at New York City by John Englis and the Novelty Iron Works in the late spring of 1861; launched on 17 August; and commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 30 September, Lt. Napoleon Collins in command.

The vessel was one of 23 “90 Day” gunboats hurriedly constructed in less than three months shortly after the outbreak of the Civil War in April 1861…

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

Repairs completed, Unadilla departed Philadelphia on 22 October [1864], bound for Hampton Roads, Va., and duty with Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter’s North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. On 22 November [1864], she was dispatched to the blockade off New Inlet, N.C. She next served with the blockade off Wilmington and Beaufort, N.C., in early December and participated in the unsuccessful first amphibious assault upon Confederate Fort Fisher in the Cape Fear River, N.C., on 24 and 25 December [1864]. The fleet returned two weeks later and took the fort during a second amphibious assault between 13 and 15 January 1865. The Union vessels continued up the Cape Fear River toward Wilmington, and Unadilla assisted in the attack and capture of Fort Anderson on 18 February [1865]. On 23 February [1865], she was ordered to proceed to Hampton Roads and served in the James River, Va., squadron doing routine reconnaissance work until the end of the war.

Unadilla was decommissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 4 May 1865 but was recommissioned on 20 December 1866 for duty with Rear Admiral Henry H. Bell’s Asiatic Squadron in 1867, primarily for use in the suppression of Chinese pirates, Unadilla, together with AroostookMaumee, and assorted small gunboats of other nations, was credited with stopping most of the pirate depredations by 1868. The gunboat also visited Bangkok in June of 1868 to deliver arms and exchange diplomatic pleasantries with the King of Siam and his ministers. Soon thereafter, Unadilla was condemned as being too unseaworthy to be sent safely back to the United States and was sold on station on 9 November 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. 228
      3. “USS Unadilla (1861-1869).” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/content/history/nhhc/our-collections/photography/numerical-list-of-images/nhhc-series/nh-series/NH-42000/NH-42352.html. Title: USS Unadilla (1861-1869) Description: Lithograph by Shearman & Hart, 1861. Courtesy of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, April 1936. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Catalog #: NH 42352
      4. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 1, p. 228
      5. “Unadilla I (Gbt).” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/u/unadilla-i.html.
      6. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
      7. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 5455
      8. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
      9. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
      10. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
      11. “Unadilla I (Gbt).” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/u/unadilla-i.html.
      12. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
      13. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
      14. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
      15. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
      16. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
      17. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
      18. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
      19. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
      20. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
      21. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
      22. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
      23. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 116118
      24. “Unadilla I (Gbt).” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/u/unadilla-i.html.

      ***



      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: