USS Zeta (aka Picket Boat No. 6) (aka Tug No. 6)

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in Union Navy

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Ship Information (from DANFS)1,2:

Name: USS Zeta (aka Tug No. 6) (aka Picket Boat No. 6) Type: Screw Steamer Tonnage: 60
Length: 58’ Beam: 13’ Draught: November 5, 1864, Forward: 4’, Aft: 7’6”
Speed: Max: 8.5 knots Complement: Not Listed. Class: Not Listed.
Armament: November 5, 1864: 8 Enfield muskets with saber bayonets, 8 cutlasses, 1 torpedo, containing 150 lbs. of powder, so damaged as to render it unfit for service
Namesake: The sixth letter of the Greek alphabet.

Images:

01771vZetaCLOSEUP3

 

Captain(s):
Acting Ensign Frederick W. Mintzer
Captain Image

Acting Ensign Ely M. Boggs
Captain Image

Captain 3
Captain Image

 

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

  • Captain: Acting Ensign Frederick W. Mintzer (June 8, 1864)5
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:
  • Note: On June 17, 1864, this ship is noted as “unarmed; fitting with torpedoes” and “above Wilson’s Wharf” on the James River.6

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)7

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:

Fourth Offensive Order of Battle (August 1-31, 1864): Fourth Division (James River) | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (August 1 & 17, 1864)8,9

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:
  • Note: On August 17, 1864, this ship is noted as a “torpedo boat.”10

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)11,12,13

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:
  • Notes:
    • On September 16, 1864, this ship is noted as “fitted as torpedo boat.”14
    • On October 1, 1864, this ship is noted as in “James River; fitted as torpedo boat.”15

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, 1865)16,17,18

  • Captain:
    • Not listed. (November 1 and December 5, 1864)19,20
    • Acting Ensign Frederick W. Mintzer (December 15, 1864)21
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament: 8 Enfield muskets with saber bayonets, 8 cutlasses, 1 torpedo, containing 150 lbs. of powder, so damaged as to render it unfit for service (November 5, 1864) 22
  • Notes:
    • Note: On December 5, 1864, this ship is noted as having its name changed to “Zeta.”23
    • Note: On December 15, 1864, this ship is noted as a “Class 4” 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, 1865)25,26,27,28

  • Captain:
    • Acting Ensign Frederick W. Mintzer (January 1 & 15 and February 1, 1865)29,30,31
    • Acting Ensign Ely M. Boggs (February 15, 1865)32
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:
  • Note: On January 1 & 15 and February 1 & 15, 1865, this ship is noted as a “Class 4” vessel.33,34,35,36

Ninth Offensive Order of Battle (March 1-April 2, 1865): James River, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (March 18 and April 1, 1865)37,38

  • Captain:
    • Acting Ensign Ely M. Boggs (March 18, 1865)39
    • Acting Ensign Frederick Mintzer (April 1, 1865)40
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:
  • Note: On March 18 and April 1, 1865, this ship is noted as a “Screw Class” vessel.41,42

 

Siege of Petersburg Battles:

  • TBD

 

Siege of Petersburg Involvement:43

  1. G. Loane — a small wooden steamer built at Philadelphia, Pa., in 1844 — was purchased by the Navy on 3 June 1864 at Philadelphia from William S. Mason.

Renamed Tug No. 6 and commissioned on 8 June 1864, Acting Ensign Frederick W. Mintzer in command, this small craft was sometimes referred to as Picket Boat No. 6 in dispatches.

Renamed Zeta in November 1864, she served as a torpedo tug in the James River until April of 1865. Transferred in that month to the Potomac Flotilla of Cmdr. Foxhall A. Parker, Zeta guarded the Bush River [Maryland] Bridge until sent to the Washington [D.C.] Navy Yard in May.

Her services no longer required, Zeta was sold to C. Vanderwerken on 24 June 1865.

 

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. 245
    3. James River, Va. U.S.S. monitor Canonicus taking on coal from a schooner. (Between 1860 and 1865) Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2018666833/>. The Zeta fortuitously happened to be in the foreground when the original image was taken.  This is a closeup of the Zeta. Note the “6” on her smokestack.
    4. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 157158
    5. “Zeta (Screw Steamer).” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/z/zeta.html.
    6. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 157158
    7. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 324325
    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, p. 326
    10. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 370371
    11. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 410412
    12. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 462463
    13. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 514515
    14. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 462463
    15. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 514515
    16. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 3940
    17. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 140142
    18. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 192194
    19. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 3940
    20. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 140142
    21. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 192194
    22. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 1, p. 245
    23. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 140142
    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 XI, pp. 398400
    30. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 597599
    31. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 722724
    32. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
    33. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 398400
    34. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 597599
    35. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 722724
    36. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
    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. 7173
    40. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
    41. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 7173
    42. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 9394
    43. “Zeta (Screw Steamer).” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/z/zeta.html.

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