USS Hartford (1859-1926)
Commissioned on May 27, 1859, the screw sloop-of-war, USS Hartford, sailed for service in the East India Squadron. With the outbreak of the Civil War in April 1861, she returned to the United States to serve as Rear Admiral David G. Farragut's flagship with the West Gulf Blockading Squadron. Subsequently, Hartford participated in the Battle of New Orleans in April and May 1862, the Siege of Vicksburg a year later, and the Battle of Mobile Bay in August 1864, where twelve of her crew received the Medal of Honor. Following repairs in mid-1865, she returned as the flagship to the newly-organized Asiatic Station Squadron, sailing the Pacific until decommissioned at Mare Island, California, in January 1887 for apprentice sea-training use. Rebuilt at this location, Hartford was recommissioned in October 1899 and transferred to the Atlantic to be a training and cruise ship for Midshipmen. In 1912, she became the station ship at Charleston, South Carolina, until put out of service in 1926 where she remained. In October 1938, she was moved to Washington, D.C., with the intent for her to be a museum ship at the Washington Navy Yard. In October 1945, following World War II, Hartford was towed to Norfolk, Virginia, classified as a relic, and remained until she sank at her berth in November 1956.
A model of Hartford is in the Civil War section of the National Museum of the U.S. Navy.
Image: NH 61887: USS Hartford (1858-1926), starboard view. NHHC Photograph Collection.