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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
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Chenango

 

A river, county, and town in New York State.

 

I

 

(SwStr: t. 974; l. 205'; b. 35'; dr. 6'6"; s. 11 k.; cpl. 171; a. 2 100-pdr., 2 20-pdr., 2 24-pdr. sb., 4 9" sb.)

 

The first Chenango, a side-wheel steamer, was launched 19 March 1863 by J. Simonson, Greenpoint, N.Y.; outfitted at New York Navy Yard; and commissioned 29 February 1864, Lieutenant Commander T. S. Fillebrown in command.

 

Assigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, Chenango left New York for Hampton Roads 15 April 1864. Before she reached the open sea, one of her boilers exploded, scalding 33 men fatally. A raging fire was brought under control and extinguished by the courageous work of Chenango's crew, and the ship was towed back to New York for repairs. Placed out of commission 21 April 1864, Chenango was ready for action and re-commissioned 1 February 1865.

 

Sailing from New York 17 February 1865, Chenango joined her Squadron at Charleston, S.C., on the 20th, and until May played an important part in the closing phases of the Squadron's long and successful efforts to keep the Confederacy cut off from overseas supply, one of the Navy's great contributions to Union victory. She operated in the Charleston area as well as along the Georgia coast, and on 25 February captured the blockade runner Elvira, laden with cotton and tobacco. Twice she performed reconnaissance, and on 9 March engaged a Southern force at Brown's Ferry on the Big Black River. One of her men was wounded in this exchange of fire.

 

Chenango cleared Charleston 16 May 1865, towing Cambridge to Philadelphia, which she reached 20 May. Here Chenango was decommissioned 1 July 1865, and sold 28 October 1868.