- USS Monticello (1859)
The first USS "Monticello" was a wooden screw-steamer in the
United States Navyduring the American Civil War. She was named for the home of Thomas Jefferson. She was briefly named "Star" in May 1861.
"Monticello" was built at
Mystic, Connecticut, in 1859; chartered by the Navy in May 1861; and purchased 12 September 1861at New York from H. P. Cromwell & Company, for service in the Atlantic Blockading Squadron, Captain Henry Eaglein command.
"Monticello" was renamed "Star" 3 May 1861, but resumed her original name 23 May. Seeing immediate action, "Monticello" relieved "Baltimore" in blockading the James River and preventing communication with the
Elizabeth River2 May, then relieved "Quaker City" at Cape Henrythe 8th. She engaged the batteries at Sewell's Point10 to 14 May, then continued blockade duty until steaming up the Rappahannockto Smith’s Island24 June. Operating with the Army on the James River above Newport News, Virginia5 July, she dispersed a body of Confederate cavalry. Often engaging Confederate batteries through the remainder of 1861, she was in the squadron that captured the batteries at Hatteras Inlet28 and 29 August in the first significant Union victory, one which greatly encouraged the North. She drove off Confederates attacking Union soldiers in that area 5 October.
Baltimore, Maryland25 March 1862 for the blockade of Wilmington, North Carolina, "Monticello" sent a boat party to the expedition up Little River26 June that destroyed two schooners. She engaged the batteries at New Inlet12 July, and took British schooner "Revere" off Wilmington 21 October. After relieving "Genesee" on blockade at Shallow Inlet15 November, "Monticello" destroyed British schooners "Ariel" and "Ann" there the 24th.
"Monticello" operated around Little River through 1863, taking British schooner "Sun" 30 March, and steamer "Old Fellow" 15 April. She joined the expedition to
Murrell’s Inlet25 April, and shelled a schooner there 12 May with "Conemaugh". In November she destroyed salt works near Little River Inlet.
Returning to the Wilmington blockade in January 1864, she joined in the expedition to
Smithville29 February, capturing Captain Kellyof General Hobert’s staff. In July she joined in the chase after CSS "Florida", and 24 August attacked Confederate batteries at Masonboro Inlet.
"Monticello" participated in the attacks on
Fort Fisher24 and 25 December and 13 and 14 January 1865. She took the surrender of Fort Casswell18 and 19 January, then participated in the Little River expedition of 4 to 6 February.
After the war, "Monticello" decommissioned
24 July 1865at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and was sold at public auction at Boston, Massachusettsto W. H. Lincoln1 November 1865. Redocumented for merchant service 25 July 1866, she served American commerce until foundering off Newfoundland 29 April 1872.
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