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Commodore Jones (1863-1864)

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USS Commodore Jones, a 542-ton (burden) shallow-draft side-wheel gunboat, was built at New York City in 1863 as a civilian ferryboat. She was purchased by the Navy, converted for armed Civil War service, and placed in commission in May 1863. Of a type suitable for operations in sheltered waters, Commodore Jones primarily spent her brief career in James and other southern Virginia rivers that feed into Chesapeake Bay. She took part in a raid up the Mattapony River in early June that destroyed a foundry producing weapons for the Confederacy. Later in the month she briefly went to sea to search for the raider Tacony and in mid-July 1863 assisted in the capture of Fort Powhatan, on the James. After hardly a year's active service, on 6 May 1864 USS Commodore Jones was blown "to splinters" by a very large electrically-fired mine during operations on the James River.

This page features the only view we have concerning USS Commodore Jones (1863-1864).

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Photo #: NH 55305

"Destruction of the United States Gun-boat 'Commodore Jones' on the James"


Engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 28 May 1864, page 348, depicting USS Commodore Jones being blown up by a very powerful Confederate electrically detonated mine ("torpedo") on 6 May 1864, while she was operating on the James River, Virginia.

Naval Historical Center Photograph.

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

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