C.P. Williams (1862-1865)

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USS C.P. Williams, a 210-ton mortar schooner, was built in 1851 at Hoboken, New Jersey, for commercial use. She was purchased by the Navy in September 1861, outfitted for combat employment and commissioned in January 1862. Assigned to the Mortar Flotilla then preparing for operations on the lower Mississippi River, C.P. Williams took part in the bombardments of Forts Jackson and St. Philip in April 1862 and of Vicksburg, Mississippi, in June and July of that year. She also carried out routine patrol duties in the vicinity before returning to the Atlantic coast for repairs in mid-summer 1862.

C.P. Williams joined the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron in November 1862 and served for the rest of the Civil War along the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia. Among her activities were bombardments of Fort McAllister, Georgia, in November 1862 and January-March 1863, an engagement with Confederate batteries on the Stono River, S.C., in December 1863 and operations up the Stono and Folly Rivers in February 1865. USS C.P. Williams was sent north in June 1865 and decommissioned. She was sold in August 1865 and later became the merchant vessel Sarah Purves.

This page features all the views we have related to USS C.P. Williams.

Photo #: NH 59061

"Commander Porter's Mortar Flotilla"

Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting the mortar schooner flotilla commanded by David Dixon Porter during the April 1862 attack on the forts below New Orleans.
Vessels shown are (from left to right): Westfield, Adolph Hugel, Para, William Bacon, Oliver H. Lee, C.P. Williams, Henry Janes, George Mangham, Racer, Horace Beals, Sarah Bruen, Samuel Rotan, John Griffith, Rachel Seaman, Maria J. Carlton, Sidney C. Jones, T.A. Ward, Sea Foam, Maria A. Wood, Octorara (Porter's flagship) and Matthew Vassar.

Photo #: NH 58899

"The Iron-clad 'Montauk' engaging the Rebel Fort McAllister, in the Ogeechee River, 28th January 1863. -- Sketched by an Officer of the 'Dawn.'"

Line engraving, published in "Harper's Weekly", 1863, depicting USS Montauk in the foreground, firing on the fort. At left, also bombarding, are the U.S. ships Seneca, Wissahickon, Dawn and C.P. Williams.

Photo #: NH 59288

Bombardment of Fort McAllister, Georgia, 3 March 1863

Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", January-June 1863, page 196, depicting the bombardment of Fort McAllister by the U.S. Navy monitors Passaic, Patapsco and Nahant. The engraving is based on a sketch by "an eye-witness" on board USS Montauk, which is in the right center foreground. In the left foreground, firing on the fort, are the mortar schooners C.P. Williams, Norfolk Packet and Para. Among other U.S. Navy ships involved were gunboats Wissahickon, Seneca and Dawn and tug Dandelion.

Photo #: NH 59287

Bombardment of Fort McAllister, Georgia, 3 March 1863

Line engraving, after a sketch by W.T. Crane, published in "The Soldier in Our Civil War", Volume II, page 39. It depicts the U.S. Navy monitors Patapsco, Passaic and Nahant firing on Fort McAllister (at far left) from the Ogeechee River. Other U.S. Navy ships are in the foreground. Montauk is the monitor in this group (farthest from the artist). Firing on the fort from the right foreground are mortar schooners, including C.P. Williams, Norfolk Packet and Para. Among other U.S. Navy ships involved were gunboats Wissahickon, Seneca and Dawn and tug Dandelion, all screw steamers.


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