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Naugatuck

 

An Indian word meaning “one tree” or “fork of the river.”

 

I

 

(ScStr.: t. 192; l. 110’; b. 20’; dr. 6’; a. 1 gun)

 

In 1841 the sons of Col. John Stevens of Hoboken, New Jersey, proposed to the Navy Department the construction of an ironclad vessel of high speed, with screw propellers and all machinery below the water line. This proposal was accepted and an Act of Congress, approved 14 April 1842 authorized the Secretary of the Navy to contract for the construction of a shot arid shell proof steamer, to be built principally of iron, on the Stevens plan. The armor was to be 4˝” thick, a thickness believed by the Stevens to be sufficient to resist any gun then known. But experiments made by John Ericsson with his big wrought iron gun proved that 4˝” armor was insufficient, and the construction of the vessel was thus delayed. In 1854 the builders constructed a larger battery, to be plated with 6ľ” of iron, but this in turn was never finished. This was referred to as the Stevens Battery.

 

To demonstrate the practicality of the plan of the “Stevens Battery,” the Stevens brothers built and fitted out at their own expense a small ironclad vessel known as E. A. Stevens, or Naugatuck, which they offered to the Government during the Civil War. She was taken into the Revenue Service by the Treasury Department and loaned to the Navy. She operated with the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron from 2 April until 26 May 1862. She exchanged shots with CSS Merrimack and took part in engagements with batteries at Sewell’s Point and Drewry’s Bluff, her commanding officer receiving high commendations from Commodore John Rodgers for his gallantry and for the excellent performance of his ship. Naugatuck returned to the Treasury Department, and on 18 August 1889, reported at Baltimore, Maryland, to be sold.

 

(WYT–92: dp. 370; 1. 110’; b. 27’; dr. 11’; sp. 11.2 k.)

 

Naugatuck, built as a harbor tug for the Coast Guard by Defoe Boat Works, Bay City, Mich., was launched 23 March 1939. Upon completion, she commissioned and was assigned permanent station at Philadelphia, Penna. Upon arrival at Philadelphia she commenced harbor duties.

 

Executive Order 8929 of 1 November 1941 transferred the entire Coast Guard to the Navy. Naugatuck continued her service as a tug in the area of the Philadelphia harbor throughout the period of hostilities. When Executive Order 9666 returned the Coast Guard to the Treasury Department, the tug remained in an active status. Since 1946 she has served in the Great Lakes Region, operating chiefly out of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. She was carried in the 1968 Coast Guard Register as a 110’ B Class medium harbor tug, assigned permanent station at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.