USS Monongahela (1862)

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USS Monongahela
USS Monongahela under full sail.
Union Navy Jack
United States
NameUSS Monongahela
NamesakeMonongahela River
Philadelphia Navy Yard
LaunchedJuly 10, 1862
CommissionedJanuary 15, 1863
FateDestroyed by fire on March 17, 1908
General characteristics
Displacement2,078 long tons (2,111 t)
Length227 ft (69 m)
Beam38 ft (12 m)
Draft17 ft 6 in (5.33 m)
PropulsionSteam engine
Sail plan
Speed8.5 kn (9.8 mph; 15.7 km/h)
Armament1 × 200-pounder Parrott rifle, 2 × 11" guns, 2 × 24-pounder guns, 2 × 12-pounder guns

USS Monongahela was a


Service history

American Civil War

Monongahela—the first

West Gulf Blockading Squadron off Mobile, Alabama, remaining on duty off that port until ordered to attempt to run past Confederate batteries on the Mississippi River at Port Hudson, Louisiana on the night of March 14–15, 1863. As Army forces ashore conducted a mortar bombardment, the squadron got underway about 22:00, heavier ships USS Hartford, USS Richmond, and Monongahela screening the smaller USS Albatross, USS Genesee, and USS Kineo from the forts, with steam frigate USS Mississippi
bringing up the rear.

In the course of the ensuing furious engagement, only Hartford and Albatross succeeded in passing upriver, Richmond losing her steam power early in the battle and drifting downstream out of range with Genesee lashed alongside. Monongahela grounded under the guns of a heavy battery, taking a pounding and losing six men killed and 21 wounded, including the captain, until she worked loose with Kineo's aid. While attempting to continue upriver, her overloaded engine broke down, and the sloop was forced to drift downstream with Kineo. Mississippi—grounding at high speed—was hit repeatedly and set afire, eventually blowing up and ending the engagement.

On 27 May, Confederate defenders turned back a major assault on

Nathaniel Banks' troops in the capture of that town and Brownsville from November 2–4, in addition capturing several blockade runners. Monongahela continued her duty off Texas, covering the landing of 1,000 Union troops on Mustang Island, Aransas Pass, Texas on November 16–17 and supporting a Union reconnaissance at Pass Cavallo on the gulf shore of Matagorda Peninsula from December 31, 1863, to January 1, 1864. She returned to blockade off Mobile, soon after, stopping numerous blockade runners
throughout the spring and summer of 1864.

On July 15, the warship's boats conducted a reconnaissance of the

West Gulf squadron
until the end of the Civil War.

Post-war career

Post-war, Monongahela was assigned to the

South Atlantic Station

Following a three-year cruise on that duty, the steam sloop served as a

U.S. Naval Academy Practice Ship. Making annual cruises each year except for 1898, when the war with Spain intervened, the ship conducted her last Academy cruise from June 6 – September 4, 1899, sailing to England and Portugal

Upon completion of this cruise, the Monongahela became a training ship for apprentices at the Naval Training Station in

until totally destroyed by fire on March 17, 1908. A 4-inch breech-loading gun was salvaged from Monongahela's wreck and put on display at the Naval Station. Since the gun was slightly deformed by the heat from the fire, it was nicknamed "Ole Droopy". This gun is now on display on Deer Point near the Bay Club.

See also


External links