Charles Morris was born in Woodstock, Conn., 26 July 1784, and served in the Quasi-War with France, Barbary Wars, and War of 1812. Commodore Morris served as a Navy Commissioner from 1823 to 1827, and as the Chief of the Bureau of Construction Equipment, and Repairs from 1844 to 1847. He died in Washington, D.C., 27 January 1856.
(SwStr: t. 532; dr. 8'6"; s. 7 k.; cpl. 106; a. 1 100-pdr. r., 1 9" sb., 4 24-pdr. how.)
Commodore Morris, an armed side wheel ferryboat, was built in 1862 at New York; purchased by the Navy 5 August 1862; fitted out at New York Navy Yard; and commissioned 19 November 1862 with Lieutenant Commander J. H. Gillis in command.
Assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, Commodore Morris' entire service was in the rivers and creeks of Virginia. Serving on patrol, and as picket, she also transported troops, dragged for mines, towed disabled ships, and sent parties ashore which took prisoners and food supplies. In January 1863, she sailed up the Pamunkey in a joint Army-Navy expedition which destroyed a railroad bridge and burned a ferryboat, as well as taking a small steamer. In her patrols from 20 January 1863 to 20 April 1863 she took prize a sloop and 65 oyster boats. Several times she engaged Confederate installations and cavalry ashore, most notably in the action with batteries at Trent's Reach on 16 May 1864 and near Malvern Hill on 14 and 16 July 1864.
Commodore Morris arrived at New York 17 June 1865. There she was decommissioned 24 June, and sold 12 July 1865.