Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Ship On Both Sides

The steamer USS Isaac Smith a Union warship was captured by the Confederate Navy during the Civil War on January 30th 1863.

The USS Isaac Smith a 453 ton screw steam boat, was built in 1861 by Lawrence and Foulks in Nyack, New Jersey for service on the Hudson River. The USS Isaac Smith was assigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron on October 16th 1861, and was part of the assault on Port Royal, South Carolina. She joined the expedition to Savannah, Georgia on January 21st 1862 led by Captain Charles H Davis which was a diversionary attack to draw attention off an action in Fernandina, Florida. The USS Isaac Smith captured the blockade runner the British Empire on April 3rd 1862. After being beached for repairs in New York City from August 10th 1862 to October 11th 1862, the USS Isaac Smith was ordered to the Stono River by Rear Admiral Du Pont.

On January 30th 1863 the USS Isaac Smith sailed into a cross fire set up from batteries on the shore. Her deck was quickly covered with wounded and dead, and the ship was disabled by an accurate fire. The captain surrendered the USS Isaac Smith, which had 8 dead and 17 wounded. She was used by the Confederate navy and renamed the CSS Stono. While attempting to run a blockade June 5th 1863 she sank off Charleston.


Savannah Riverrat said...

The Isaac Smith was not the only ship captured by the CS during the war. June 3, 1864, a force under the command of Lt. Thomas Pelot attacked and siezed USS Water Witch in Ossabaw Sound, 15 miles south of Savannah, GA. She was moored off of White Bluff, and on Dec 19, 1864 she was burned to avoid recapture.

LivingInVermont said...

Thanks for this information. I'll look into having a post about the Water Witch in the future.