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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Pembina

 

A city and county in North Dakota; the site of the earliest trading post (1797–98) in that state.

 

I

 

(ScGbt.: t. 507; l. 171’; b. 31’6”; dph. 15’9”; dr. 10’; s. 10 k.; a. 1 20-pdr. P.r., 1 11” D. sb., 2 24-pdr. how.)

 

The first Pembina, a screw gunboat built by Thomas Stack and Novelty Iron Works, New York, was commissioned 16 October 1861, Lt. John P. Bankhead in command. By 5 November she had joined the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron and with Ottawa, Seneca, and Pawnee engaged and dispersed a small Confederate Squadron in Port Royal Sound, then fired on Forts Beauregard and Walker. Returning with a larger force on the 7th, she fired on Fort Walker until it was abandoned. Then, on the 9th she covered the occupation of Beaufort, S.C.

 

In early December she penetrated into Wassaw Sound to assist in closing off Savannah. By the end of the month she had engaged Confederate positions at Port Royal Ferry and into January 1862 assisted in clearing the Coosaw River. Between 17 January and 18 February she operated in the Wright’s and Mud rivers area, clearing mines from the Savannah River above the mouth of Wright’s River 13–15 February.

 

Continuing to cruise off the Georgia and northern Florida coasts she escorted transports and covered troops as they assaulted Confederate positions and, on 9 April, as they evacuated Jacksonville, Fla. In May she shifted to the Carolina coast for operations in the Stono River where on 6 June seized her first prize the schooner Rowena.

 

Later shifted to the gulf coast, she captured a second vessel, sloop Elias Beckwith, near Mobile, 23 April 1863.

 

Remaining on the gulf coast she seized her third and last blockade runner, the Dutch brig Geziena Hilligonda, carrying medicines, iron and cloth, off Brazos Santiago, Tex., 4 December 1864. After the war she returned to the east coast.

 

Decommissioned at the Washington Navy Yard 22 September 1865, she was sold, at New York, 30 November 1865.