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Catskill (1863-1901)

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USS Catskill, a 1335-ton Passaic class monitor, was built at Greenpoint, New York. She was commissioned in late February 1863 and almost immediately sent to join the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron off Charleston, South Carolina. Catskill was damaged by Confederate gunfire during the 7 April 1863 attack on Fort Sumter that demonstrated both the strengths of well-defended fortifications and the limitations of monitor-type ironclads. The ship participated in renewed bombardments of Charleston's defenses in July-September and was again damaged. Her commanding officer, Captain George W. Rodgers, was killed in action on 17 August 1863 during one of these battles.

Catskill remained on duty in the vicinity of Charleston during the rest of the Civil War. She destroyed the grounded blockade runner Prince Albert off Fort Moultrie on 9 August 1864. When Charleston fell on 17-18 February 1865, Catskill captured blockade runners Celt and Deer when they went aground trying to escape to sea. In July 1865, some months after the conflict's end, the monitor left Charleston and went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she was decommissioned.

Catskill was briefly renamed Goliath in June-August 1865, while laid up. She was again active in 1876-77, operating along the Atlantic Coast, but was "in ordinary" for more than two decades after that. Recommissioned in April 1898, during the Spanish-American War, Catskill was assigned to coast-defense service off New England. She decommissioned in September 1898 and was sold in December 1901.

This page features, or provides links to, all our views related to USS Catskill.

For additional views related to USS Catskill, see:,

  • USS Catskill -- Personnel.

    Photo #: NH 59269

    "Panoramic View of Charleston Harbor. -- Advance of Ironclads to the Attack, April 7th, 1863"


    Line engraving published in "The Soldier in our Civil War", Volume II, page 172, with a key to individual ships and land features shown.
    U.S. Navy ships present are (from left to center): Keokuk, Nahant, Nantucket, Catskill, New Ironsides, Patapsco, Montauk, Passaic and Weehawken.



    Photo #: NH 61925

    USS Catskill
    (1863-1901)

    Officers posing on deck and atop the turret, while the ship was in Charleston harbor, South Carolina, in 1865. The Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Edward Barrett, is seated on the turret, in center.
    Note awning spread over the turret and conning tower, ship's bell mounted on the turret side, marks from Confederate shot hits on the turret armor, and additional armor plate laid on the deck.
    Guns on field carriages are 12-pounder Dahlgren howitzers. Turret gun to the right is a XI-inch Dahlgren smoothbore. The other turret gun is a XV-inch Dahlgren smoothbore.

    Courtesy of the Library of Congress.



    Photo #: NH 55205

    USS Catskill
    (1863-1901)

    View of the ship's propeller well, with cover removed, photographed by N.L. Stebbins, Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1898.
    Note tiller at left, with rudder chains running across the deck.



    Photo #: NH 55206

    USS Catskill
    (1863-1901)

    View of the ship's anchor well, with its cover removed, photographed by N.L. Stebbins, Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1898.
    Note anchor chain running out of hause hole and around a roller inside the well, and other chain wrapped around the forward deck bitts.



    Photo #: NH 55207

    USS Catskill
    (1863-1901)

    View in an officer's cabin, photographed by N.L. Stebbins, Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1898.
    Note open deadlight scuttle in the overhead, wooden joinerwork, watertight door at left, lamp on the desk, and artwork behind the desk chair depicting a monitor at sea.



    Photo #: NH 55208

    USS Catskill
    (1863-1901)

    View in the turret chamber, photographed by N.L. Stebbins, Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1898.
    Note mechanism for lifting the turret so it can be rotated.



    Photo #: NH 59444

    USS Catskill
    (1863-1901)

    View in the ship's engine room, photographed by N.L. Stebbins, Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1898.
    Note decorations painted on some parts of the machinery.



    The following depictions of USS Catskill are relatively inaccurate:

    Photo #: NH 58737

    USS Catskill
    (1863-1901);
    USS Passaic (1862-1899); and
    USS Montauk (1862-1904)

    Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, rather crudely depicting the appearance of these ships and others of their class.



    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.



    For additional views related to USS Catskill, see:,

  • USS Catskill -- Personnel.

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