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Nipsic

 

A lake in the province of Ontario, Canada.

 

(Gunboat: tons 592; length 179’6”; beam 30’; draft 11’6”; speed 11 knots; armament 1 150–pounder rifle, 1 30–pounder rifle, 2 IX–inch Dhalgren smoothbore, 2 24–pounder howitzer, 2 12–pounder)

 

Nipsic was laid down 24 December 1862 by Portsmouth Navy Yard; launched 15 June 1863; sponsored by Miss Rebecca Scott; and commissioned 2 September 1863, Lt. Comdr. George Bacon in command.

 

Nipsic arrived off Morris Island, S.C., 5 November 1863 to join in the blockade of Charleston, where she served until the end of the Civil War. On 27 June 1864, she took schooner Julia as the blockade-runner attempted to enter port. Such service contributed largely to Confederate defeat by closing the Southís economy to all foreign contact.

 

Nipsic served primarily with the South Atlantic Squadron off the coast of Brazil, and in the West Indies, protecting American commerce and interests until 1873 when she was decommissioned and subsequently broken up.


Rebuilt as a new, and substantially larger, Adams-class gunboat, Nipsic recommissioned 11 October 1879. She served again in the West Indies until March 1880 when she sailed for the European Station.

 

After three years service in the Mediterranean and along the north and west coasts of Africa, Nipsic returned to the South Atlantic Squadron in June 1883. She served there until March 1886 when she sailed to Washington for overhaul. In January 1888 she sailed for Cape Horn and Callao, Peru, whence she departed 23 September for duty as station ship in Apia Harbor, Samoa.

 

On 15 March 1889, Nipsic rode at anchor in Apia Harbor with Vandalia, Trenton, HMS Calliope, and three German naval vessels, Adler, Olga, and Eber, along with six merchantmen. Gale-force winds arose, and preparations for leaving harbor were begun, but departure was delayed in the hope that conditions next morning would be more favorable for the sortie. However, by early morning 16 March the harbor was a mass of foam and spray as hurricane-force winds battered the ships. Only Calliope, larger and more strongly powered than the others, was able to leave the harbor. Vandalia, Trenton, the three German ships, and the merchantmen were all sunk; Nipsicís captain, Comdr. D. W. Mullin, was able by superb seamanship to beach his ship. While severely damaged by the pounding she received on the beach, Nipsicís hull was intact, although much of her topside structure was battered, all of her propeller blades damaged, two boilers spread and useless, and eight of her crew lost. Refloated and her engines repaired, Nipsic cleared Apia 9 May for Auckland, but was turned back by heavy seas. On 15 May she again sailed, for Pago Pago, Fanning Island, and Honolulu, arriving 2 August.

 

Nipsic was completely rebuilt in Hawaii, her length and beam extended and her tonnage increased. From 3 January 1890 she cruised in the Hawaiian Islands guarding American interests. She arrived in San Francisco Bay 30 September, and decommissioned at Mare Island Navy Yard 2 October. In 1892 she sailed to Puget Sound Navy Yard to serve as receiving ship and prison. On 13 February 1913 she was sold.

 

Nipsic (ATĖ33) was renamed Pinola (q.v.) 7 February 1919.

 


29 April 2005