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Metacomet

 

Named for Metacom, second son of Massasoit, known in English as Philip of Pokanocket, or King Philip. In a night attack on a swamp fortress in Rhode Island 12 August 1675, the last force of Indians was defeated with great slaughter, King Philip being among the slain.

 

___________

 

(Str: t. 395)

 

Built in New York in 1854, the first Metacomet operated out of Fall River, Mass., until sold to the Navy in 1858 when she was renamed Pulaski (q.v.).

 

I

 

(SwStGbt: dpl. 1,173; l. 205'; b. 35'; dr. 8'6"; s. 12.5 k.; a. 2 100‑pdr., 2 24‑pdrs., I 12‑pdr., 4 9‑pdrs.; cl. Sassacus)

 

Wooden side‑wheel steamer Metacomet was launched 7 March 1863 by Thomas Stack, Brooklyn, N.Y., and commissioned at New York 4 January 1864, Comdr. James H. Jovett in command.

 

Metacomet joined the West Gulf Blockading Squadron in the blockade of Mobile Bay and captured British blockade runner Donegal 6 June. On the 30th Glasgow forced blockade running steamer Ivanhoe ashore near Fort Morgan, whose guns protected the ship from destruction by the Union. Unsuccessful in efforts to destroy her by long-range fire from Metacomet and Monongahela, Admiral Farragut ordered a boat expedition to attemp the task. Under cover of darkness, boats from Metacomet and Kennebec slipped in close to shore and burned the steamer.

 

Metacomet and 17 other ships entered Mobile Bay in a double column 5 August. In the ensuing battle Metacomet and other Union ships captured Confederate ram Tennessee, a major threat to the blockaders at Mobile. Farragut’s ships maintained a heavy fire on Fort Morgan and Confederate gunboats, capturing Selma. Metacomet then rescued survivors from Union monitor Tecumseh, sunk by a Confederate torpedo.

 

With Mobile in Union hands, Metacomet steamed to the Texas coast and captured blockade runner Susanna off Campechy Banks 28 November, and took schooner Sea Witch and sloop Lilly off Galveston 31 December and 6 January 1865, respectively.

 

Torpedoes remained a danger to shipping in waters near Mobile even after that southern port had fallen to the Union so Metacomet returned there to drag the Bay and Blakely Channel for the “Infernal machines” 9 March through 12 April 1865. Returning north after the end of the conflict, Metacomet decommissioned at Philadelphia 18 August and was sold there to John Roach & Sons, 28 October 1865.