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Career (US) Confederate Navy Jack Union Navy Jack
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: date unknown
Acquired: 30 September 1863
Commissioned: circa October 1863
Decommissioned: 30 August 1865
Struck: 1865 (est.)
Captured: by Union Navy forces
24 July 1863
Fate: sold, 1 November 1865
General characteristics
Displacement: 350 tons
Length: 156 ft (48 m)
Beam: 21 ft (6.4 m)
Draught: 9 ft 4 in (2.84 m)
Propulsion: steam engine
Speed: 12 knots
Complement: not known
Armament: six 24-pounder howitzers
two 12-pounder rifles

USS Emma (1863) was a steamer captured by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She was used by the Union Navy as a picket and patrol vessel on Confederate waterways.

Emma captured and placed into Union Navy service[]

Emma, a screw steamer, was captured 24 July 1863 while running the blockade by the Army transport Arago; purchased by the Navy from the New York City prize court 30 September 1863; fitted out at New York Navy Yard; and put to sea on 4 November 1863, Acting Master G. B. Livingston in command.

Assigned to patrol with the North Atlantic Blockade[]

Emma arrived at Newport News, Virginia, 7 November 1863 to patrol with the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron until the end of the war. Enforcing the blockade, she played a significant role in the Navy's indispensable contribution to victory through isolating the South from oversea sources of supply. Emma joined in the destruction of blockade runner Ella off Wilmington, North Carolina, 6 December 1864, and the attacks on Fort Fisher of 24 and 25 December 1864 and 13 to 15 January 1865.

Supporting the effort to prevent Jefferson Davis from fleeing[]

On 26 April 1865, Emma sailed from Fort Caswell, North Carolina, with an urgent message from General William Tecumseh Sherman to Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren, commanding the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, which warned the Admiral that Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his cabinet, not yet located, might attempt to escape by way of Florida to Cuba. Emma put in to Key West, Florida, on this cruise, then returned to patrol the Carolina coast until 24 August, when she arrived at Boston, Massachusetts.

End-of-war decommissioning and disposal[]

In Boston, Emma was decommissioned 30 August 1865 and sold 1 November 1865.


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

See also[]

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