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Huron

 

Center lake in the Great Lakes and a city in east central South Dakota. Huron IV and V were named after the city.

 

I

 

ScStr.: t. 507; l. 158'; b. 28'; dph. 12'; a. 1 11-inch D.sb., 120-pdr., 2 24" how.)

 

The first Huron, a schooner-rigged screw steamer, was launched 21 September 1861 by Paul Curtis, Boston under Navy contract; and commissioned 8 January 1862 at Boston Navy Yard, Lt. John Downes in command.

 

Huron joined the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron in February to take part in Union strangulation of Confederate commerce, and steamed off the coasts of Georgia and Florida. In addition to blockading duties, her men often took part in shore expeditions against the Confederates, as on 15 March 1862 on the Georgia coast. Huron chased a schooner ashore 12 April 1862 and 7 days later captured schooner Glide off Charleston with 100 bales of cotton and other cargo. She also captured schooner Albert 1 May and British blockade runner Cambria 26 May. As Union naval power increased the pressure on Charleston in coordination with the Army, Huron engaged batteries in the Stono River 30 May and took part in an engagement with Fort McAllister 29 July 1862. Back on regular blockade duty, she captured schooner Aquilla 4 August.

 

Huron continued her patrol and blockading duties off Charleston into 1863. During the ironclad attack on the forts in Charleston Harbor 7 April 1863, the ship formed part of a reserve squadron outside the bar. Five days later, while patrolling with Flag, she detected blockade-running steamer Stonewall Jackson attempting to dash into Charleston. The two Union ships opened fire immediately, so damaging the blockade runner that she was forced to run aground and destroy her cargo, which included vitally needed Army artillery and shoes.

 

The veteran blockader made two more captures in December 1863-January 1864, and later in 1864 moved north to join the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, whose main attention was turned to Wilmington, N.C., and its powerful defender, Fort Fisher. During the first attack on the fort 24 to 25 December 1864, Huron took part in the bombardment which was to cover the storming by Army troops. This first assault aborted, but preparations were quickly made for a second joint operation in January 1865. Again Huron provided a part of the devastating naval bombardment; and, with the help of a landing party of 2.000 sailors and marines, the Army assault forces captured Fort Fisher, 15 January 1865, effectually closing Wilmington to blockade runners. Then, during the final months of the war, Huron took part in combined operations against the city itself, bombarding Forts Anderson, and St Philip in February.

 

After Appomattox, responding to the attempted escape of President Davis of the Confederate States, Huron steamed to Key West in an effort to capture Confederate officials bound for Havana or Mexico by water. She arrived 2 May, but Davis was captured near Iwinville, Ga., 10 May 1865.

 

Huron served on South American station after the Civil War, returning to New York and decommissioning 8 October 1868. She was sold at New York 14 June 1869.