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USS Fort Jackson
Career File:US flag 36 stars.svg
Name: USS Fort Jackson
Launched: 1862
Acquired: by purchase, 20 July 1863
Commissioned: 18 August 1863
Decommissioned: 7 August 1865
Fate: Sold, 27 September 1865
General characteristics
Type: Sidewheel steamer
Displacement: 1,850 long tons (1,880 t)
Length: 250 ft (76 m)
Beam: 38 ft 6 in (11.73 m)
Draft: 18 ft (5.5 m)
Propulsion: Steam engine
Speed: 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph)
Armament: • 1 × 100-pounder rifle
• 2 × 30-pounder rifles
• 8 × 9 in (230 mm) smoothbore guns

USS Fort Jackson was a wooden side wheel steamer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War.

Fort Jackson was in New York in 1862, formerly named Kentucky and Union, was purchased by Rear Admiral Hiram Paulding for the Navy from C. W. Vanderbilt on 20 July 1863 and placed in commission on 18 August 1863, Captain Henry A. Walke in command.

Service history[]

On 2 September she departed New York for Fort Monroe where she joined with steamer Connecticut in intercepting a British arms shipment from Bermuda to Wilmington, North Carolina. While sailing from Bermuda on 16 September a boiler burned out and forced her to repair at New York.

In December 1863 Fort Jackson was assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron to cruise off the Western Bar, Cape Fear, and the following month helped in destroying the grounded blockade runner Bendigo at Folly Inlet. In April, Captain Benjamin F. Sands, her commanding officer, organized a boat expedition in which her crew crossed the bar to Masonboro Sound and destroyed valuable State salt works, and seized a number of prisoners.

The steamer captured the blockade runner Thistle in June and took the runner Boston as prize during the next month. The success of her voyage was heightened when in the same period she plucked drifting cotton bales and bags from the sea and sent them to Philadelphia for adjudication.

During October she was attached to the 2nd Division North Atlantic Blockading Squadron and on 21 October captured CSS Wando attempting to run through with a cargo of cotton.

During December Fort Jackson fought in the battle off Wilmington and in the first bombardment of Fort Fisher (24–25 December) during which she covered troop landings and received on board the dead and wounded.

After loading supplies for the fleet at Fort Monroe and Norfolk, Virginia, she returned in mid-January 1865 to cannonade Fort Fisher until its surrender on the 15th.

On 1 February she was transferred to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, underwent repair at Pensacola, Florida, and took up station on the Texas coast. She aided steamer Cornubia in capturing the schooner Chaos off Galveston during April, and was present at the surrender of Forts Point and Magruder in June.

Fort Jackson returned to New York where she was decommissioned on 7 August 1865 and later sold 27 September 1865.

She subsequently became the commercial steamer North America and was not broken up until 1879.

As of 2005, no other ship in the United States Navy has borne this name.


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.