USS Kennebec, a 691-ton Unadilla class screw steam gunboat built at Thomaston, Maine, was commissioned in February 1862. Through her entire operational career, she engaged in operations against the Confederacy in the Gulf of Mexico and on the lower Mississippi River. In April 1862, Kennebec supported the Federal squadron that fought its way past New Orleans' defending fortifications to capture that great seaport. She spent the next three months patrolling along the Mississippi and bombarding enemy forces at Vicksburg.
For two years beginning in August 1862, Kennebec was an active participant in the blockade of Mobile Bay, Alabama, capturing five blockaqe runners. Lashed alongside USS Monongahela on 5 August 1864, she was a unit of the fleet that Rear Admiral David Glasgow Farragut boldly took past Fort Morgan to enter Mobile Bay, thus closing the port of Mobile to Confederate commerce. In this action, she was lightly damaged by gunfire from the ironclad ram CSS Tennessee. Kennebec subsequently took part in the bombardments that led to Fort Morgan's surrender.
During the last few months of the Civil War, Kennebec was stationed off the still-hostile Texas coast. Once the conflict ended in May 1865, she remained in the area for a few more months before going north in July. USS Kennebec decommissioned in August and was sold in November 1865. She was subsequently converted to a sailing bark and employed as a merchant ship.
This page features the only views we have related to USS Kennebec (1862-1865).