Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Wars & Conflicts
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Judge Torrence
(SwStr: t. 700; l. 179'1"; b. 45'6"; dr. 9'; s, 6 k.; a. 2 24-pdr. how. sb.)

A former name retained.

Judge Torrence was a steamer purchased by the War Department 10 February 1862 for use as an ordnance ship in the Western Gunboat Flotilla organized by the Army on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers soon after the outbreak of the Civil War. She was transferred to the Navy 30 September 1862 and commissioned at Cairo, Ill., 25 December, Comdr. Le Roy Fitch in command.

Judge Torrence departed Cairo 14 March 1862 to supply the flotilla with ammunition during operations against Island No. 10. She continued to support Union mortars and gunboats throughout the operations which wrested control of the Mississippi and her tributaries from the South, cutting the Confederacy in two. After the Confederate surrender of Vicksburg Rear Admiral Porter praised Judge Torrence and sister ordnance ship Great Western for "unremitting attention to their duties during the siege, supplying without delay every requisition made on them by Army and Navy." Judge Torrence continued to provide efficient and vital service throughout the war, decommissioning at Cairo 1 August 1865. She was sold at public auction at Mound City to John A. Williamson et al. 17 August 1865. Redocumented as Amazon 2 January 1866, she served American commerce until she sank after striking a snag off Ozark Island, Ark., 19 February 1868.