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Winona (1861-1865)

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USS Winona, a 691-ton Unadilla class screw steam gunboat, was built at New York City. Sent to the Gulf of Mexico soon after commissioning in December 1861, she took part in Union Navy's operations against Confederate defenses on the Mississippi River below New Orleans. Though most of the squadron successfully passed the forts on 24 April 1862, Winona was caught on obstructions in the attempt and was unable to proceed up the river until May. During the next few months, she bombarded enemy positions at Grand Gulf, Mississippi, twice ran past the batteries at Vicksburg and briefly engaged the ironclad CSS Arkansas.

On 4 September 1862, while on blockade duty off Mobile, Alabama, Winona fired on the Confederate cruiser Florida as that ship made a daring run into Mobile Bay. Back on the Mississippi River, she was damaged in action with Confederate artillery on 14 December. In April-July 1863, Winona was involved in campaigns against Port Hudson and Vicksburg, and helped repel an attack on the Union position at Donaldsonville, Louisiana.

Winona was under repair at Baltimore, Maryland, from August 1863 into February 1864. She then became part of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, operating along the coast from South Carolina to Florida. Among her exploits there were the destruction of a blockade runner in March 1864, attacks on enemy forts near Savannah, Georgia, and participation in an amphibious landing at Bulls Bay, S.C., in February 1865. After the collapse of the Confederacy, Winona was sent north. She decommissioned in June 1865 and was sold in late November. Subsequently becoming the civilian vessel C.L. Taylor, she remained in merchant service for at least another two decades.

This page features, or provides links to, all our views relating to USS Winona (1861-1865).

For pictures of USS Winona in action, see:

  • USS Winona -- Actions and Activities.

    Photo #: NH 59590

    USS Winona (1861-1865)


    Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 28 September 1861, depicting the anticipated appearance of the gunboat when completed. She had been launched on 14 September 1861 but was not commissioned until 11 December 1861.



    Photo #: NH 42206

    USS Winona (1861-1865)


    Lithograph by Endicott & Company, New York, circa 1861.

    Courtesy of William Poillon, 1939.



    Photo #: NH 49971

    USS Winona (1861-1865)


    In the Mississippi River off Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in March 1863.
    Note the identification number "2" painted on her smokestack.



    Photo #: NH 49970

    USS Winona (1861-1865)


    Off Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in March 1863.
    Note the identification number "2" painted on her smokestack.



    Photo #: NH 59367

    "Our New Gun-boats"


    Engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1861 volume.
    It depicts ten of the "90-Day Gunboats" constructed for the U.S. Navy in 1861-62.
    Ships, as identified below the image bottom, are (from left, all USS): Chippewa, Sciota, Itasca, Winona, Huron, Ottawa, Pembina, Seneca, Unadilla and Sagamore.



    Photo #: NH 58752

    U.S. Navy Warships, 1862


    Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting several contemporary U.S. Navy ironclad and conventional warships. They are (from left to right: Puritan (in the original twin-turret design); Catskill; Montauk, Keokuk (citing her original name, "Woodna"); Passaic; Galena (behind Roanoke, with name not cited); Roanoke; Winona; New Ironsides; Naugatuck; Brooklyn and Monitor.



    Photo #: NH 59370

    USS Winona (1861-1865)


    Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1861, depicting the ship under construction at the C. & R. Poillon shipyard, New York City. Winona was launched on 14 September 1861.



    Photo #: NH 59368

    "90-Day" Gunboats under construction at New York City, 1861


    Engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1861 volume.
    It depicts USS Unadilla on the stocks at the John Englis shipyard (top left), USS Winona at the C. & R. Poillon shipyard (top right), and USS Ottawa at the Jacob A. Westervelt shipyard (bottom). These ships were launched (respectively) on 17 August, 14 September and 22 August 1861.



    For pictures of USS Winona in action, see:

  • USS Winona -- Actions and Activities.

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