USS Banshee

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in Union Navy

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 Banshee Type: Sidewheel Steamer Tonnage: 533
Length: 220’ Beam: 20’ 4” Draught: 10’, Nov. 25, 1864: 7’6”; Loaded, Forward: 7 ½’; Aft, 8 ½’; Light, Forward: 6’; aft: 6 ½‘
Speed: Max under steam: 15 knots; in a seaway: 12 knots Complement: Not listed. Class: N/A (one of a kind)
Armament: June 30, December 31, 1864, and March 3, 1865: 1 30-pdr. Parrot rifle; 2 heavy 12-lbrs. S. B.
Namesake: Banshee is a female spirt of Irish and Scottish folklore.

Images:

Drawing of USS Banshee as blockade runner PS Banshee3

 

Captain(s):
Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Walter H. Garfield
Captain Image Needed

Captain 2
Captain Image

Captain 3
Captain Image

 

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

Not present at the Siege of Petersburg.4

Ordered to report from New York City to Hampton Roads for further orders (June 14, 1864)5

  • Captain: Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Walter H. Garfield (June 14, 1864)6,7
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:

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

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament: 1 x 30-pdr. Parrot rifle; 2 x heavy 12-lbrs. Smoothbore (June 30, 1864)8

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

Away in North Carolina coaling at Beaufort, not present at the Siege of Petersburg.(July 31, 1864)9

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:

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

Not present on the James River. (August 1, 1864)10

Repairing at Norfolk, VA. (at least August 16 and 17, 1864)11,12,13

Moved to Baltimore, MD. (August 19, 1864)14,15

 

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:

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

Away at Baltimore, MD (repairing), not present at the Siege of Petersburg. (October 1, 1864)16

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:

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

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:

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

Away at Baltimore, MD (repairing), not present at the Siege of Petersburg. (November 1, 1864)17

Not present on the James River. (November 12, 1864)18

Away near Wilmington, NC, not present at the Siege of Petersburg. (December 5, 1864)19

Norfolk Navy Yard, Va. | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (December 15, 1864)20

  • Captain: Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Walter H. Garfield (November 1 and December 5 & 15, 1864)21,22,23
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament:
    • 3  x “guns” (December 15, 1864)24
    • 1 x 30-pdr. Parrot rifle; 2 x heavy 12-lbr. Smoothbores (December 31, 1864)25
  • Note: On December 15, 1864, this ship is noted as a “Class 4” vessel.26

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

Norfolk, Va. (repairing) | North Atlantic Blockading Squadron | Union Navy (January 1, 1865)27

Joined the Potomac Flotilla (January 16, 1865)28

No longer present at the Siege of Petersburg after January 16, 1865.29,30,31,32

  • Captain: Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Walter H. Garfield (January 1 & February 1, 1865)33,34
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament: 3 x “guns” (January 1 and February 1, 1865)35,36
  • Note: On January 1 and February 1, 1865, this ship is noted as a “Class 4” vessel.37,38

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

No longer present at the Siege of Petersburg.39,40,41

  • Captain:
  • Crew Strength:
  • Armament: 1 x 30-pdr. Parrot rifle; 2 x heavy 12-lbrs. Smoothbore (March 3, 1865)8

 

Siege of Petersburg Battles:

  • TBD

 

Siege of Petersburg Involvement:43

The first Banshee was built in 1862 by Jones, Quiggin and Co., Liverpool, England; captured by Fulton and Grand Gulf off Wilmington, N.C., 21 November 1863, while attempting to run the blockade; purchased 12 March 1864 from the New York Prize Court; and fitted out as a gunboat. On 14 June 1864 Acting Volunteer Lieutenant W[alter]. H. Garfield was ordered to take command of Banshee and proceed to Wilmington, N.C., for duty with the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

Banshee served with the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron until 3 January 1865, taking part in the attack on Fort Fisher (24 December 1864). She joined the Potomac Flotilla 16 January 1865 and was sold at New York 30 November 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. 42
    3. “Blockade Runner Banshee.”  Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/our-collections/photography/numerical-list-of-images/nhhc-series/nh-series/NH-54000/NH-54434.html. Title: Blockade Runner Banshee. Description: (1862) Halftone reproduction of an artwork by R.G. Skerrett, 1899. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Catalog #: NH 54434
    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, Series 1, Volume X, p. 148
    6. “Banshee I (SwStr).” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/content/history/nhhc/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/b/banshee-i.html.
    7. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume X, p. 148
    8. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 1, p. 42
    9. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 324325
    10. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, p. 326
    11. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 370371
    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. 410412
    15. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 462463
    16. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume X, pp. 514515
    17. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 3940
    18. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, p. 61
    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, Volume XI, pp. 3940
    22. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 140142
    23. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 192194
    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, Series 2, Volume 1, p. 42
    26. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 192194
    27. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 398400
    28. “Banshee I (SwStr).” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/content/history/nhhc/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/b/banshee-i.html.
    29. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 597599
    30. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 722724
    31. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 2021
    32. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XII, pp. 5455
    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. 722724
    35. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 398400
    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 XI, pp. 398400
    38. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Volume XI, pp. 722724
    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. 116118
    42. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 1, p. 42
    43. “Banshee I (SwStr).” Naval History and Heritage Command, https://www.history.navy.mil/content/history/nhhc/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/b/banshee-i.html.

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