USS Camanche, a 1335-ton Passaic class monitor, was prefabricated at Jersey City, New Jersey. Her materials were then sent around Cape Horn in the sailing ship Aquila to San Francisco, California, where Aquila sank in November 1863. The monitor's parts were salvaged and assembled at San Francisco and she went into commission in May 1865, just after the end of the Civil War. For more than a year, until the arrival of the larger twin-turret monitor Monadnock, Camanche was the Navy's only ironclad warship on the Pacific coast, and she was one of but two stationed there for nearly two and a half decades.
Camanche's career was a quiet one, with the ship generally maintained in decommissioned status at the Mare Island Navy Yard, in northern San Francisco Bay. She was the California Naval Militia's training ship in 1896-97 and appears to have been reactivated in 1898, during the Spanish-American War. USS Camanche was sold in 1899, but photographic evidence indicates that she remained in the San Francisco area for a few years after that.
This page features all our views related to USS Camanche.
The following photographs show USS Camanche in the background of pictures of other ships:
In addition to the images presented above, the Mariners Museum, at Newport News, Virginia, appears to hold other views of USS Camanche, taken during her assembly at San Francisco, California. The following list features these images:
The images listed below are NOT in
the Naval Historical Center's collections.
DO NOT try to obtain them using the procedures described in our page "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions".
Nearly bow-on view of Camanche being prepared for launching, circa 14 November 1864. This photograph is taken from about the same angle as Photo # NH 55198 (seen above), but has fewer people on deck and shows less of the surrounding shipyard.
Port bow view of Camanche alongside a pier, probably at about the time she was commissioned in May 1865. The ship has her boats aboard, but is still painted white or very light grey. The photograph bears the inscription "Assembled in San Francisco. Ready for Action. Monitor Comanche 1865"
Reproductions of these image should be available from the Mariners Museum. Contact that institution directly concerning details. Their address can be readily found through the use of standard Internet browsers.
The images listed in this box are NOT in the Naval Historical Center's collections. DO NOT try to obtain them using the procedures described in our page "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions".