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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Ice Boat

 

(Str: cpl. 50; a. 432-pdr.)

 

Ice Boat, also known as Refrigerator and Release, was owned by the city of Philadelphia and offered to the Navy free of expense soon after the outbreak of the Civil War. She was placed in service at Philadelphia 23 April 1861, Comdr. Oliver S. Glisson in command.

 

She departed Philadelphia the same day to protect the landing of troops at Annapolis to encourage Maryland's adherence to the Union and to be available for the defense of Washington. Ice Boat was ordered to Washington for duty in the Potomac 21 May arriving 2 days later. Most of her service was off Aquia Creek where she labored to stop trade across the Potomac between Virginia and Maryland, occasionally engaging Confederate batteries on the Virginia shore. News of the Union Army's defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run caused Ice Boat's return to Washington to defend the Nation's Capital. A fortnight later the ship was back off Aquia Creek where she remained until she was returned to her owner late in November 1861.