Today in History:

Lehigh (1863-1904)

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
 

USS Lehigh, a 1335-ton Passaic class monitor built at Chester, Pennsylvania, was commissioned in April 1863. During the next three months, she operated in the vicinity of Hampton Roads and the James River, Virginia. She took part in an expedition up the James in July that was intended to threaten the defenses of Richmond, and thus divert Confederate resources in the wake of the Battle of Gettysburg.

In August, Lehigh was sent to join Union naval forces off Charleston, South Carolina. She participated in several bombardments of Confederate fortifications during September and was struck several times by cannon fire. In October and November, the monitor engaged Fort Sumter on several occasions. Lehigh remained in the Charleston area during 1864 and into 1865, then was transferred back to the James River. Following the end of the Civil War, she was ordered North and decommissioned at Philadelphia in June 1865.

During 1875-79, Lehigh served as a practice ship at the U.S. Naval Academy and was on active duty with the North Atlantic Squadron. She was laid up in the James River, Virginia, from then until 1895, when she went to Philadelphia for repairs. The old monitor was briefly in commission in April-September 1898, providing a measure of coastal defense in New England waters during the Spanish-American War. Inactive thereafter, USS Lehigh was sold for scrapping in April 1904.

This page features all the views we have related to USS Lehigh (1863-1904).

Photo #: NH 51301

USS Lehigh
(1863-1904)

Photographed while she was in commission for Spanish-American War service, probably at the Boston Navy Yard in June or July 1898.
Ship on the opposite side of the pier is USS Governor Russell.



Photo #: NH 45896

USS Montauk
(1862-1904) - at left, and
USS Lehigh (1863-1904) - at right

Laid up at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, circa late 1902 or early 1903.
Other ships present, at extreme left and in center beyond Montauk and Lehigh, include three other old monitors and two new destroyers (probably Bainbridge and Chauncey, both in reserve at Philadelphia from November 1902 to February 1903).



Photo #: NH 51303

USS Lehigh
(1863-1904)

View on the monitor's deck, probably taken while she was serving on the James River, Virginia, in 1864-65.
Probably photographed by the Matthew Brady organization.
Note her turret, with a XV" Dahlgren smoothbore in one gun port (center) and a smaller gun (probably an 8" Parrott rifle) in the other.
Also note armored pilothouse atop the turret, armor plates and turret base ring added to the ship on the basis of combat experience, the 12-pounder Dahlgren howitzer mounted on an iron field carriage, and the bitt in the foreground.



Photo #: NH 59436

USS Lehigh
(1863-1904)

Crew members exercising with a 12-pounder Dahlgren howitzer (on an iron field carriage) on the monitor's deck, probably while she was serving on the James River, Virginia, in 1864-65.
Probably photographed by the Matthew Brady organization.
Note lookout with telescope atop the turret, dents in turret and conning tower from Confederate cannon shot, and the bitt on deck in the foreground.

The original negative is # 111-B-612 in the National Archives.



Photo #: NH 59437

USS Lehigh
(1863-1904)

Crew members and a few officers pose on the monitor's deck, probably while she was serving on the James River, Virginia, in 1864-65.
Probably photographed by the Matthew Brady organization.

The original negative is # 111-B-25 in the National Archives.



Photo #: NH 59438

USS Lehigh
(1863-1904)

The monitor's officers pose on deck, probably while she was serving on the James River, Virginia, in 1864-65.
Probably photographed by the Matthew Brady organization.
Note dent in the conning tower from a Confederate cannon shot. Compare this view with Photo # NH 59436, showing how the turret has rotated while the conning tower remained stationary.

The original negative is # 111-B-616 in the National Archives.



Photo #: NH 51954

Navy blacksmiths


At work on the deck of a monitor, during the Civil War.
Note photographer's chest in the right background.
This ship has been identified as USS Lehigh, based on information on National Archives' photograph # 111-B-25.



Photo #: NH 89459

USS Lehigh
(1863-1904)

Crewmen eating "hardtack" and resting on the monitor's deck, while she was operating at sea off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 4 May 1898.

Donation of H. Leavitt Horton, 1978



Photo #: NH 89460

USS Lehigh
(1863-1904)

View on deck looking forward, showing water coming aboard while the monitor was underway at sea off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 4 May 1898.
Note neatly coiled line in the foreground.

Donation of H. Leavitt Horton, 1978



Photo #: NH 89461

USS Lehigh
(1863-1904)

View looking aft with deck awash, while the monitor was operating at sea off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 4 May 1898.
Note water splashing up from the open propeller well, and the "flying" deck structure overhead.

Donation of H. Leavitt Horton, 1978



Photo #: NH 51302

USS Lehigh
(1863-1904)

Halftone reproduction of a close-up photograph published in the "Strand Magazine", 1st Quarter 1901, showing dents in the monitor's turret armor made by Confederate cannon shot during the Civil War.
These same dents are visible in Photo # NH 59436, taken circa 1864-65.
An interesting optical illusion can be seen if this image is turned upside down.



Please login to post a comment. You may create an account using the form available to the right.

 

Major Battles of the Civil War

 

Banner