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Online Library of Selected Images:

USS Wampanoag (1867-1885). Later renamed Florida

USS Wampanoag, a 4215-ton steam frigate, was laid down at the New York Navy Yard in 1863 as part of a Civil War program of large, very fast, steam cruisers. Launched in December 1864, her completion was slowed by the coming of peace and she was not commissioned until September 1867. Wampanoag ran trials in February 1868, reaching speeds in excess of 17 knots, a very high figure for that time. Following brief service as flagship of the North Atlantic Fleet, she decommissioned in May 1868. A year later, while laid up, her name was changed to Florida. In 1874, the ship was refitted for use as storeship at the New London Naval Station, Connecticut, where she remained until sold in February 1885.

This page features views relating to USS Wampanoag.

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Photo #: NH 95699-KN

"An Incident of the Late War with Great Britain ...
USS Wampanoag Escaping from the Channel Fleet after Destroying the Halifax Convoy, July Fourth, 1866"

Oil painting by John Charles Roach, 1984, depicting the fast cruiser Wampanoag performing her designed mission, in an imaginary conflict.

Courtesy of Charles R. Haberlein Jr., 1985.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 76KB; 740 x 485 pixels

Photo #: NH 85970

New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York

View along the waterfront, probably in the Summer-Fall of 1866.
Ships present are (left to right):
USS Wampanoag (1867-1885), fitting out;
A screw gunboat of the Kansas or Cayuga class;
USS Madawaska (1867-1886), preparing for trials;
USS Susquehanna (1850-1883);
USS Idaho (1866-1874), laid up after her unsuccessful trials (across the channel from Wampanoag);
Two "Double-Ender" side-wheel gunboats; and
USS Vermont (1862-1902), in the extreme right background.

Courtesy of Martin Holbrook, 1977.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 57KB; 620 x 635 pixels

Photo #: NH 76423

USS Florida (1867-1885), ex-Wampanoag

Probably photographed at New York, circa 1869.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 87KB; 740 x 570 pixels

Photo #: NH 54159

USS Florida (1867-1885), ex-Wampanoag

In drydock at the New York Navy Yard.
The original photo bears the date 1874 on its mat. In March 1874, this ship departed New York to become the receiving and store ship at the New London Naval Station, Connecticut. This view may show her after refitting for that purpose.
It is also possible, given the "new" appearance of the ship, that it was actually taken in the Winter of 1868, at the time of her trials.

Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution, from the Skerritt Collection, Bethlehem Steel Company Archives.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 104KB; 740 x 560 pixels

Photo #: NH 76383

USS Wampanoag (1867-1885);
USS Tennessee (1867-1886); and
USS Trenton (1877-1891)

Plan comparing the three ships' machinery installations. It is marked: "Copy from Roach's April 16th (18)77".
The plan emphasises the savings in weight, space and personnel represented in the machinery and boilers of the Tennessee and Trenton as compared with Wampanoag.

The original drawing is # 107-10-5A in Record Group 19, National Archives.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 64KB; 740 x 525 pixels


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22 December 1998