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New London


A southeastern Connecticut city and port on Long Island Sound at the mouth of the Thames River.




(ScStr: t. 221; l. 125’; b. 25’; dph. 7’8”; dr. 9’6”; s. 9.5 k.; cpl. 47; a. 1 20–pdr. P.r., 4 32–pdrs.)


New London, a wooden, screw steamer built at Mystic, Conn., in 1859, was purchased by the Navy at New York 26 August 1861; and commissioned at New York Navy Yard 29 October 1861, Lt. Abner Read in command.


Ordered to the Gulf of Mexico 2 November, New London, aided by R. R. Cuyler, captured schooner Olive laden with lumber shortly before midnight 21 November. The next day, but only 2½ hours later, she took steamboat Anna carrying turpentine and rosin from Pascagoula to New Orleans. About dawn a week later, she took steamboat Henry Lewis carrying sugar and molasses; and that afternoon she captured a schooner trying to slip through the blockade with naval stores for Havana.


New London took steamer Advocate 1 December; and schooner Delight with sloops Empress and Osceola on the 9th. On the 28th schooner Gypsy became her prize. Not content to capture ships, New London, with Water Witch and Henry Lewis, rounded out her record on the last day of 1861 by sending a landing party ashore to capture Biloxi, Miss., destroying a Confederate battery and taking possession of two guns and schooner Captain Spedden.


On 20 February 1862 a boat expedition from New London landed on Cat Island and interned 12 small sloops and schooners suspected of being pilot boats for blockade runners.


On 4 April, with J. P. Jackson and Hatteras, New London engaged C. S. Carondelet, Pamlico, and Oregon while transport Lewis landed 1,200 Union troops at Pass Christian, Miss., and destroyed a Confederate camp there. Boats from New London captured yachts Comet and Algerine near New Basin, La., 2 June. On 17 June she captured and destroyed batteries at North and South passes.


During the ensuing years New London served on blockade duty in the gulf, operating primarily off the Texas coast. She and Cayuga captured British schooner Tampico off Sabine Pass, Tex., attempting to run out laden with cotton 3 April 1863. On the 10th, while reconnoitering near Sabine City, a boat crew from New London captured a small sloop. Among the prisoners was Capt. Charles Fowler, CSN, who had commanded C.S.S. Josiah Bell when the Southern warship took Morning Light and Velocity in January.


On the 18th, another boat expedition was surprised and driven off by Southern troops.


On 7 July, with Monongahela, New London engaged batteries below Donaldsonville, La. Three days later, while steaming to New Orleans, the ship engaged Confederate batteries at White Hall Point, Miss.


Back off the Texas coast, she captured schooner Raton del Nilo 3 December.


Continuing to serve the West Gulf Blockading Squadron through the end of the Civil War, New London sailed North 12 July 1865 and decommissioned at Boston 3 August 1865. She was sold at public auction 8 September 1865 to M. M. Comstock. Redocumented as Acushnet 27 December 1865 she operated in merchant service until 1910.