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The officers of the USS Mahopac on the James River in the spring of 1865.
The officers of the USS Mahopac on the James River in the spring of 1865.
Career File:US flag 37 stars.svg
Ordered: 15 September 1862
Builder: Secor & Co.
Laid down: 1862
Launched: 17 May 1864
Commissioned: 22 September 1864
Renamed: USS Castor, 15 June - 10 August 1869
Struck: 14 January 1902
Fate: Sold, 25 March 1902
General characteristics
Displacement: 2,100 tons
Length: 223 ft (68 m)
Beam: 43 ft 4 in (13.21 m)
Draft: 13 ft 6 in (4.11 m)
Propulsion: 2 boilers, 1-shaft Ericsson vibrating lever engine, 320 ihp (235 kW)
Speed: 8 knots
Complement: 85 officers and enlisted
Armament: 2 × 15 in (381 mm) Dahlgren smoothbore guns
Armor: Iron
Side: 5 - 3 in (12.7 - 7.6 cm)
Turret: 10 in (25.4 cm)
Pilothouse: 8 in (20.3 cm)
Deck: 1½ in (3.8 cm)

The first USS Mahopac, a heavily armored Canonicus-class monitor built by Z. & F. Secor at New York, was launched 17 May 1864, and, after a trial trip 20 August, commissioned in September at New York, Commander William A. Parker in command. She was named for the town of Mahopac, New York.

Civil War service[]

The Mahopac participated in the September 9 joint attack on Charleston, South Carolina. She operated on the James River in the autumn where she engaged a Confererate artillery battery at Howlett's Farm on 5 and 6 December. She then steamed to the Wilmington, North Carolina area in time to join the first bombardment of Fort Fisher 24 and 25 December 1864 and the Second Battle of Fort Fisher 13 through 15 January 1865. In the latter attacks, she was hit eight times without serious damage.

Next steaming to Charleston, Mahopac remained there on picket duty until 8 March when she returned to Chesapeake Bay. In April, she and sister Union ships helped General Ulysses S. Grant’s force in the capture of Richmond. She decommissioned in June and laid up at the Washington Navy Yard.

Post Civil War and fate[]

Mahopac recommissioned 15 January 1866 and operated along the east coast. Renamed Castor 15 June 1869, she resumed the name Mahopac 10 August. Going into reserve at Hampton Roads 11 March 1872, she recommissioned 21 November 1873 and sailed to Key West, Florida for fleet drill and remained there over 2 years. In 1876 she steamed to Port Royal, South Carolina and moved to Norfolk, Virginia in July 1877. She was stationed with several other monitors at Brandon, Virginia until March 1880, when she proceeded to City Point, Virginia, where she was based until 1888. She was in ordinary at Richmond 1889-95, then moved to League Island. She was struck from the Navy Register 14 January 1902 and was sold 25 March 1902.

See also[]

  • See USS Mahopac for other ships of this name.
  • See USS Castor for other ships of this name.


  • This article contains text from the US Naval Historical Center.
  • This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
  • Additional technical data from Gardiner, Robert (1979). Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1860-1905. Conway Maritime Press. p. 122. ISBN 0 85177 133 5. 

External links[]

pl:USS Mahopac (1864)