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Seneca (1861-1868)

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USS Seneca, a 691-ton Unadilla class screw steam gunboat built at New York City, was commissioned in October 1861. She participated in the capture of Port Royal and Beaufort, South Carolina, during November and in the blocking of the entrances to Savannah, Georgia, in December 1861. During 1862, Seneca operated along the Confederate coastline from the Carolinas to Florida. She shelled Fort McAllister, Georgia, and assisted in the destruction of the privateer Rattlesnake, in January and February 1863. The following summer, the gunboat took part in attacks on Fort Wagner, near Charleston, S.C.

Seneca was under repair from January into October 1864, then joined the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. From December 1864 into February 1865, she was engaged in operations to capture Fort Fisher, North Carolina, and to secure the Cape Fear River. USS Seneca was decommissioned at Norfolk, Virginia, in June 1865 and was sold there in September 1868.

This page features all the views we have related to USS Seneca during the period 1861-62, and provides links to later images.

For pictures related to USS Seneca in 1863 and later, see:

  • USS Seneca -- 1863 and Later Views.

    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 59316

    "Portion of the Naval Expedition, as it appeared on the night of October 16, sailing to Hampton Roads. -- Sketched by an Officer on Board." 1861


    Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1861 volume, pages 712. It depicts Flag Officer DuPont's squadron en route to capture Port Royal, South Carolina.
    Ships, all U.S. Navy, as identified below the image bottom, are (from left): Wabash, Florida, Augusta, Alabama, Ottawa, Seneca and Pembina.



    Photo #: NH 59315

    "The Great Naval Expedition" to capture Port Royal, South Carolina, November 1861


    Engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1861 volume, pages 696-697.
    It depicts Federal warships and transports, under Flag Officer Samuel F. DuPont, USN, departing Hampton Roads, Virginia, en route to Port Royal.
    Ships, as identified below the image bottom, are (from left): (illegible), Oriental, Baltic, USS O.M. Pettit, USS Gem of the Sea, Great Republic, USS Wabash (DuPont's flagship), USS Seneca, USS Pembina, USS Connecticut, tug Mercury, USS Unadilla, USS Augusta, USS Alabama and (illegible).



    Photo #: NH 59319

    "Army & Navy Reconnoissance. Tuesday Morning Nov. 5" 1861


    Line engraving published in "The Soldier in Our Civil War", Volume I, page 189, depicting Federal ships investigating Port Royal Sound, South Carolina, prior to their successful attack on Confederate fortifications there.
    Ships and other items identified across the bottom of the print include (from left to right): USS Mercury, with Generals Sherman and Stevens & staff on board; USS Penguin, with Hilton Head Battery beyond; USS Pawnee; Broad River (in distance); CSS Huntress (distance); USS Seneca; steamer Screamer (distance); USS Ottawa with Capt. Rogers & General Wright on board; steamer Everglades (distance, beyond Ottawa; USS Pembina; CSS Lady Davis (distance); Beaufort River (distance); Bay Point Battery (distance); USS Curlew; Confederate camp (distance); USS Isaac Smith.



    Photo #: NH 1099

    Bombardment and Capture of Port Royal, South Carolina, 7 November 1861


    Engraving by W. Ridgway after a drawing by C. Parsons, published by Virtue & Co., New York.
    It depicts Federal warships, under Flag Officer Samuel F. DuPont, USN, bombarding Fort Beauregard (at left) and Fort Walker (at right). Troop transports are standing by in the distance.
    U.S. Navy ships present and identified include (from left): Mohican, Susquehanna, Augusta, Wabash (Flagship), Unadilla, Pawnee, Bienville, Ottawa, Curlew and Seneca.



    Photo #: NH 59256

    Bombardment and Capture of Port Royal, South Carolina, 7 November 1861


    Engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1861 volume, pages 760-761.
    It depicts Federal warships, under Flag Officer Samuel F. DuPont, USN, bombarding Fort Beauregard (at right) and Fort Walker (at left). The Confederate squadron commanded by Commodore Josiah Tattnall is in the left center distance.
    Subjects identified below the image bottom are (from left): tug Mercury, Fort Walker, USS Wabash (DuPont's flagship), Screamer (?), USS Susquehanna, CSS Huntsville, Commo. Tattnall, USS Bienville, USS Pembina, USS Seneca, USS Ottawa, USS Unadilla, USS Pawnee, USS Mohican, USS Isaac Smith, USS Curlew, USS Vandalia, USS Penguin, USS Pocahontas, USS Seminole, Fort Beauregard, USS R.B. Forbes and "Rebel Camp".



    Photo #: NH 58799

    "Destruction of Guns at the Confederate Arsenal, Beaufort, S.C., by Captain Amman, of the U.S. Gunboat 'Seneca.'"


    Line engraving published in "The Soldier in Our Civil War", Volume I, page 179.
    It depicts the crew of USS Seneca, led by their Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Daniel Ammen, destroying enemy ordnance during the capture of Beaufort in November 1861.



    Photo #: NH 59309

    "Reconnoissance of Vernon River, Ossabaw Sound, Georgia, Discovery of a Rebel Battery and Camp.", 11 December 1861


    Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", January 1862.
    It depicts Federal warships engaging the Confederate battery, shown in the far left distance.
    Ships, as identified below the image bottom, are (from left): USS Seneca, USS Pembina, USS Ottawa and Steamer Mary Andrew.
    For the original sketch from which this engraving was made, see Photo # NH 59310.



    Photo #: NH 59310

    "Discovery of a Rebel Battery and Camp on Vernon River, Ga.", 11 December 1861


    Sketch by William Crane, artist for Harper's Weekly, presented by the artist to Lieutenant Thomas H. Stevens, Commanding Officer of USS Ottawa. It depicts the U.S. Navy gunboats Seneca, Pembina, Ottawa and steamer Mary Andrew, "at the time of Rebel Battery opening fire". The Federal ships were under the command of Commander C.R.P. Rodgers of USS Wabash.
    This sketch apparently served as the basis for the engraving seen in Photo # NH 59309.



    Photo #: NH 59372

    USS Seneca (1861-1868)


    Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", July-December 1861, depicting the ship under construction at the Jeremiah Simonson shipyard, New York City. Seneca was launched on 27 August 1861.



    For pictures related to USS Seneca in 1863 and later, see:

  • USS Seneca -- 1863 and Later Views.

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