USS Aroostook, a 691-ton Unadilla class screw
steam gunboat built at Kennebunk, Maine, was commissioned in February
1862. In early March she assisted the storm-disabled USS Vermont,
suffering damage herself in the process. After repairs, Aroostook
arrived at Hampton Roads, Virginia, where she participated in
operations against Norfolk and, once that port had fallen, up
the James River. She engaged Confederate forces on several occasions,
among them the bombardment at Drewry's Bluff on 15 May. In September
1862, after the end of General McClellan's Peninsula Campaign,
the gunboat served briefly with the Potomac Flotilla before being
ordered to the Gulf of Mexico.
Aroostook joined the blockade of Mobile Bay, Alabama,
in October 1862, and served off there for nearly a year, during
which time she took part in the capture or destruction of several
blockade running sailing vessels. Stationed off the Texas coast
from November 1863, she took three more blockade runners and assisted
in destroying another. Aroostook left the Gulf in September
1865, some months after the end of the Civil War, and was decommissioned
at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Recommissioned in December 1866, Aroostook voyaged to
the Far East by way of the Cape of Good Hope, arriving at Hong
Kong in August 1867. As a unit of the Asiatic Squadron, she operated
off Japan and on anti-piracy patrols along the China coast. USS
Aroostook was decommissioned at Hong Kong in September
1869 and sold a month later.
This page features all our views of USS Aroostook (1862-1869).
Photo #: NH 57274
USS Aroostook (1862-1869)
Photographed in Chinese waters, circa 1867-69.
The original print is mounted on a carte de visite, marked
"S. Sidney, Photo. China".
Collection of captain Robert F. Bradford, 1941.
Photo #: NH 82580-KN (Color)
Bombardment of Fort Darling, Drewry's Bluff, Virginia,
15 May 1862
Contemporary pencil sketch, with colors of flags and smoke lightly
worked in, depicting the Union ships Galena, Monitor,
Aroostook, Port Royal and Naugatuck (listed
as shown, left to right) bombarding the Confederate fort at Drewry's
Photo #: NH 1998
Bombardment of Fort Darling, Drewry's Bluff, Virginia, 15
Contemporary pencil sketch by F.H. Wilcke, depicting the Union
warships Galena, Monitor, Aroostook, Port
Royal and Naugatuck (listed as shown, left to right),
under the command of Commander John Rodgers, bombarding the Confederate
fort at Drewry's Bluff.
Photo #: NH 59206
"Rendezvous of Our Fleet in James River, off City Point,
-- Drawn on the Spot, May 29, 1862"
Line engraving, published in "Harper's Weekly", Volume
of January-June 1862, page 390.
It depicts the U.S. Navy ships (listed as shown, from left to
right) Maratanza, Wachusett, Aroostook,
Monitor, Mahaska and Galena operating on
the James River, Virginia, in support of General McClellan's
Photo #: NH 1853
"U.S. Gun Boats on James River covering the Retreat."
Engraving after a drawing by C. Parsons, published by Virtue,
Yorston & Company, New York, circa the later 19th Century. It
depicts the ironclads Monitor and Galena bombarding
Confederate forces as General McClellan's army withdraws following
the Battle of Malvern Hill, 2 July 1862.
The other two ships visible are probably USS Aroostook
(beyond Monitor's bow) and USS Jacob Bell (behind
Monitor, at left).