Vanderbilt USS

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Aug 31, 2006
Orlando FL
USS Vanderbilt (1862-1873).
Originally the Civilian Steamship Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt, a 3360-ton (burden) wooden side-wheel steamship, was built in 1856 at Greenpoint, Long Island, New York, for commercial trans-Atlantic passenger service. The U.S. Army chartered her for use as a transport soon after the outbreak of the Civil War. In March 1862 she was turned over to the U.S. Navy and converted into a cruiser. Commissioned as USS Vanderbilt in September 1862, she spent the last two months of 1862 and all of 1863 searching in the Atlantic Ocean and West Indies for the Confederate cruiser Alabama. While this extended cruise did not produce an encounter with the elusive enemy warship, Vanderbilt did capture three merchant ships suspected of blockade running or other traffic with the enemy, including steamer Peterhoff in February 1863; steamer Gertrude in April; and bark Saxon in October 1863.
Following repairs that occupied much of 1864, Vanderbilt patrolled in the North Atlantic against blockade runners operating out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. She served on the blockade off Wilmington, North Carolina, beginning in November 1864 and took part in the December 1864 and January 1865 attacks on Wilmington's Fort Fisher that finally resulted in closing that port to Confederate commerce. In the spring of 1865, Vanderbilt carried Sailors to the Gulf of Mexico and towed ironclads between East Coast ports. She was used as a receiving ship at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, in Kittery, Maine, during the summer of that year.
From November 1865 to June 1866 Vanderbilt voyaged from the U.S. Atlantic Coast around South America, escorting the ironclad Monadnock to San Francisco, California. During October and November 1866 she visited Hawaii, carrying that country's queen home from the U.S. Vanderbilt was laid up at the Mare Island Navy Yard from May 1867 until April 1873, when she was sold to private owners. The ship was subsequently converted to a sailing vessel and renamed Three Brothers. Later in the 19th Century she was used as a coal hulk at Gibraltar and was not broken up until 1929.

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