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Ship Information (from DANFS)1,2:

Name: USS Violet Type: Screw Tug Tonnage: 166
Length: 85’ Beam: 19’9” Draught: Not Listed.
Speed: Not Listed. Complement: Not Listed. Class: Not Listed.
Armament: February 5, 1864: 1 24-pdr., 2 12-pdr. rifles
Namesake: A flowering herb known for its beautiful purple blossoms.

Images:

Image Needed (Does One Exist?)

 

Captain(s):
Captain 1
Captain Image

Captain 2
Captain Image

Captain 3
Captain Image

 

First Offensive Order of Battle (June 13-18, 1864): Newport News, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (June 17, 1864)3,4

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:
  • Note: On June 17, 1864, this ship is noted as a “tug.”5
  • Note: Violet was assigned as a tug to protect and assist the ironclad Roanoke from April 1864 to July 20, 1864, when she left for North Carolina.6

Second Offensive Order of Battle (June 19-30, 1864): Newport News, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy7

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:
  • Note: Violet was assigned as a tug to protect and assist the ironclad Roanoke from April 1864 to July 20, 1864, when she left for North Carolina.8

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

Newport News, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (July 1-20, 1864)9

Away in North Carolina, not present at the Siege of Petersburg. (July 20-31, 1864)10

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:
  • Note: Violet was assigned as a tug to protect and assist the ironclad Roanoke from April 1864 to July 20, 1864, when she left for North Carolina.11

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

  • Not present at the Siege of Petersburg.
  • Note: The Violet was destroyed by her crew in North Carolina on August 8, 1864 after running aground.12

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.

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):

  • Not present at the Siege of Petersburg.

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

  • Not present at the Siege of Petersburg.

 

Siege of Petersburg Battles:

  • TBD

 

Siege of Petersburg Involvement:13

Violet, a wooden steam tug built as Martha in 1862 at Brooklyn, N.Y., was purchased by the Navy at New York City on 30 December 1862 for use during the Civil War; and was commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 29 January 1863.

Soon after her commissioning, Violet was dispatched to Newport News, Va., for duty as a tug with the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. On 27 March [1863], she received orders to proceed to the blockade off Cape Fear Inlet, near Wilmington, N.C., and finally arrived for duty in early April after a storm off Cape Hatteras, N.C., had forced her return to Hampton Roads in a sinking condition on 28 March…

Early in 1864, Violet underwent repairs at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Va., and in April was assigned duty as a tug to the ironclad Roanoke off Newport News. Her orders were to maintain a vigilant nighttime and foul weather guard over the ironclad and be prepared to tow the warship to safety or run down any enemy vessels in the event of a Confederate attack. She performed this task until 20 July [1864], when she was fitted with a torpedo device and reassigned to her old blockade station off the Cape Fear River. There, on the night of 7 August, she ran aground while proceeding to her inshore station, close to the shoal off Western Bar, N.C. Despite the efforts of both her crew and volunteers from other nearby vessels to float her off, the tides forced Violet harder aground. Finally, seeing that the situation was hopeless, Violet’s captain and crew fired her magazine to prevent capture, and the vessel blew up on the morning of the 8th.

 

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. 233
      3. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 157158
      4. “Violet.” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/v/violet.html.
      5. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 157158
      6. “Violet.” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/v/violet.html.
      7. “Violet.” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/v/violet.html.
      8. “Violet.” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/v/violet.html.
      9. “Violet.” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/v/violet.html.
      10. “Violet.” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/v/violet.html.
      11. “Violet.” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/v/violet.html.
      12. “Violet.” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/v/violet.html.
      13. “Violet.” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/v/violet.html.

      ***



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