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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Harvest Moon

 

The full moon nearest the autumnal equinox.

 

(SwStr: t. 546; l. 193'; b. 29'; dr. 8'; s. 15 k.; a. 4 24-pdr. how.)

 

Harvest Moon, a side-wheel steamer, was built in 1863 at Portland, Maine, and was purchased by Commodore Montgomery from Charles Spear at Boston, Mass., 16 November 1863. She was fitted out for blockade duty at Boston Navy Yard and commissioned 12 February 1864, Acting Lieutenant J. D. Warren in command.

 

Assigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, Harvest Moon departed Boston 18 February and arrived off Charleston 25 February 1864. Next day Rear Admiral Dahlgren made the steamer his flagship. After putting into Washington Navy Yard for repairs. Harvest Moon began her regular blockading duties 7 June 1864 off Charleston. For the next 9 months the steamer served off Tybee Island, the North Edisto River, and Charleston harbor. During this period she also acted as a picket and dispatch vessel as well as Admiral Dahlgren's flagship.

 

While proceeding in company with tug Clover shortly after 0800 on 29 February 1865 Harvest Moon struck a torpedo in Winyah Bay, S.C. Admiral Dahlgren, awaiting breakfast in his cabin, saw the bulkhead shatter and explode toward him. The explosion blew a large hole in the ship's hull aft and she sank in 2 fathoms of water. One man was killed. The Admiral, and the crew, were taken on board Nipsic. Harvest Moon was stripped of her valuable machinery and abandoned 21 April 1865. In 1963, nearly 100 years later, a project was initiated to raise Harvest Moon from the mud at the bottom of Winyah Bay and to restore the ship, but has made little headway.

 

 

USS Harvest Moon, Admiral Dahlgren's Flagship