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Norfolk Packet


A former name retained.


(Sch.: t. 349; l. 108’; b. 28’2”; cpl. 40; a. 113” mortar, 2 32–pdr., 2 12–pdr.)


Schooner Norfolk Packet was purchased by the Navy from George Goodspeed of New York 10 September 1861; altered for naval service by J. Engles; and commissioned 7 February 1862 at the New York Navy Yard, Lt. Watson Smith in command.


The schooner was assigned to the Mortar Flotilla assembled under Comdr. David D. Porter for Flag Officer Farragut’s attack on New Orleans. The Flotilla arrived in the Mississippi 18 March; and, after eight days of arduous work in getting the larger vessels of the Fleet over the bars, was ready for action. The Flotilla moved into position on 16 April and the mortars opened fire on Forts Jackson and St. Philip which protected the southern metropolis from attack from the sea.


From 16 until 24 April the mortar schooners pounded the Confederate works. On the night of the 24th, Farragut’s deep draft ships raked the forts and the next day New Orleans surrendered.


Norfolk Packet bombarded Vicksburg, Miss. 27 June through 8 July 1862 supporting Farragut during his run past the batteries to meet Flag Officer Davis’s Western Flotilla. Following this operation the schooner sailed to Baltimore for repairs.


Norfolk Packet was next assigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, and arrived Port Royal, S. C. 7 November 1862. For the rest of the war, she blockaded the Confederate coast operating in the coastal waters of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. She participated in the bombardment of Fort McAllister, Ga. 3 March 1863; captured schooner Ocean Bird off St. Augustine Inlet, Fla. 23 October; assisted Beauregard in capturing British schooner Linda attempting to slip into Mosquito Inlet, Fla. 11 March 1864. She took sloop Sarah Mary 26 June.


After fighting stopped, Norfolk Packet departed Port Royal, S. C. 23 June 1865, decommissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, 12 July, and was sold at public auction 10 August.