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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

R. B. Forbes

 

(Steamer: displacement 329; length 121; beam 256; depth of hold 117; draft 123; speed 11 knots (max.), 7 knots; armament 2 32-pounders)

 

R. B. Forbes, a twin-screw steamer built in 1845, was acquired by the Navy at Boston on 17 August 1861. Although not formally purchased until September, she was fitted out at Boston and got underway for the Washington Navy Yard on 25 August, Acting Master William G. Gregory in command.

 

After spending most of September at the Navy Yard, the steamer operated in the Chesapeake area until ordered to join the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron in late October. Sailing on the 29th, she participated in the capture of Forts Walker and Beauregard at Port Royal, S.C., on 7 November, then remained in the area until December. Following damage to her port shaft and propeller, she was towed to New York by the steamer Atlantic, arriving on 20 December.

 

Decommissioned for repairs, she was recommissioned on 8 February 1862 and ordered to join the Mortar Flotilla below New Orleans. Caught in a gale off Cape Henry on the 25th, she was driven ashore and wrecked a few miles south of Currituck Inlet. Young America, dispatched to the scene, brought off R. B. Forbes' crew and all salvagable [sic; salvageable] equipment. The grounded steamer was then burnt to prevent capture by Confederate forces.