- USS Ceres (1856)
USS "Ceres" (1856) was a small 150-ton
steamboatacquired by the Union Navyduring the beginning of the American Civil War. She was outfitted as a gunboatand used in the Union blockadeof the waterways of the Confederate States of America.
Built in New Jersey
"Ceres", an armed side-wheel merchant steamer, was built at Keyport,
New Jerseyin 1856. "Ceres" was purchased by the United States Navyon September 11, 1861, fitted out at the Washington Navy Yard, and commissioned the same month, Acting Master J. L. Elliottin command.
Civil War service
North Atlantic blockade operations
Originally assigned to the Potomac Flotilla, "Ceres" was ordered on
September 18, 1861to report to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, and for the remainder of the war, aside from repair periods at Baltimore, Marylandoperated in the rivers and sounds of Virginiaand North Carolina. Here she maintained the close watch for Confederate Statesmerchantmen through which the blockading forces provided so important a part of the U.S. Navy's contribution in the U.S. Civil War. She was successful in capturing four blockade runners during her service, as well as aiding in the seizure of others.
Capture of Roanoke Island
Another crucial assignment carried out by "Ceres"' squadron was support for
U.S. Armyforces holding or attempting to take coastal positions, as well as providing boats and cover for amphibious operations, raids, and reconnaissance. She took part in the capture of Roanoke Islandon February 7- February 8, 1862, during which she was hit while firing on Confederate shore positions. When nearby Confederate naval ships retired up Albemarle Soundas Roanoke Island fell, "Ceres" joined in following them, and next took part in the naval engagement off Elizabeth City, North Carolina. During this action, in which one of her men was wounded, she captured CSS "Ellis".
Continuing her operations in North Carolinian waters, "Ceres" took the steamer "Wilson" on
July 9, 1862while covering the landing of an Army raiding party near Hamilton, North Carolina. Through most of 1863, she protected the forces holding such posts as Fort Andersonat New Bern, North Carolinaand the positions near Washington, North Carolina, coming under fire from Confederate batteries on several occasions.
Under fire with casualties
In the lengthy series of attacks around
Plymouth, North Carolina, "Ceres" lost two men killed and six wounded when she was taken under heavy fire from Fort Grey, upriver from Plymouth, on April 17, 1864. Two days later, it was "Ceres" who gave warning of the approach of the formidable Confederate ram CSS "Albemarle", and took part in the first engagement with the ram which followed. On May 5, her group again was engaged with "Albemarle" and two other steamers.
Following the dramatic sinking of "Albemarle" by
Lieutenant William B. Cushing, and later salvage, "Ceres" towed "Albemarle" north to Norfolk, Virginiaat the close of the war.
Post-war decommissioning and sale
After a final patrol period off
North Carolina, "Ceres" was decommissioned at New York Cityon July 14, 1865, and sold on October 25, 1865.
United States Navy
American Civil War
Confederate States Navy
* [http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-c/ceres.htm USS Ceres]
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