USS Niphon, a 475-ton (burden) composite-construction screw gunboat, was built at Boston, Massachusetts, in 1863 for commercial employment off China. However, the Navy purchased her upon completion and she was commissioned in April 1863 for Civil War service. Niphon spent the rest of the conflict as part of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. A successful enforcer of the blockade, she was involved in the capture or destruction of several steamers, among them the Hebe, chased ashore in August 1863; Cornubia and Ella & Annie, taken in November 1863; Lynx, chased ashore on in September 1864; and Annie, captured at the end of October 1864. She also took part in raids against the North Carolina coast and rescued the crew of USS Aster when that tug ran aground near Fort Fisher, N.C., in October 1864.
At the beginning of December 1864 Niphon was decommissioned for repairs but, with the Civil War approaching its conclusion, was sold at auction in April 1865. She entered commercial service under the name Tejuca later in the year, and was sold to foreign owners in 1867.
This page features the only view we have of USS Niphon (1863-1865).
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Photo #: NH 49812
USS Niphon (1863-1865)
Civil War era lithograph by J.B. Bufford, after a drawing by S.S. Tuckerman.
Collection of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Online Image: 88KB; 740 x 600 pixels
Page made 9 November 2003