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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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King Philip

 

(SwStr: t. 500; l. 204'; b. 22'11" ; dph. 8'; cpl. 14; a. 1. gun)

 

Powhatan, a side wheel steamer built at Baltimore in 1845 by J. A. and E. T. Robinson, operated on the Potomac out of Georgetown, D.C. Early in the Civil War the Army seized the side wheeler 21 April 1861 and transferred her to the Navy. The next day she entered the Washington Navy Yard to be fitted out for war service. A week later Lt. John Glendy Sproston was ordered to take command of Powhatan and proceed to Kettle Bottom Shoals to replace and protect buoys there which had been removed by Confederate agents.

 

After patrol duty in the Potomac helping to protect the Nation's Capital during the early months of the Civil War, Powhatan steamed to Baltimore for repairs. She was renamed King Philip 4 November 1961.

 

Throughout the Civil War King Philip was used as a dispatch vessel shuttling mail, supplies, and passengers between Washington and Union ships in the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers. After peace had been restored and the Nation reunited, King Philip was sold at auction to H. F. Harrill 15 September 1865.