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Mackinaw (Sidewheel Gunboat)


Named for the straits of Mackinac.

(Sidewheel Gunboat: tonnage 974; length 205'1"; beam 35'; draft 9'6"; speed 14 knots; armament 2 100‑pounder. Parrott rifle., 4 9-inch smoothbores, 2 24‑pounder smoothbores, 1 heavy 12 pounder, 1 12‑pounder rifle; class Algonquin)

The sidewheel gunboat Mackinaw, built at the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1863, was launched on 22 April 1863, sponsored  by Miss Minnie Bradford, daughter of Acting Assistant Paymaster Horace S. Bradford; and commissioned at New York on 23 April 1864, Cmdr. John C. Beaumont in command.

Mackinaw joined the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, starting picket duty on the James River in May 1864 and remaining on the river for most of that year. She destroyed the steamer Georgiana McCaw on 5 June and supported Union troops on their advance from Dutch Gap, Va., on 11 August.

Transferred to the Wilmington blockade, Mackinaw chased a steamer on 7 November 1864 and captured schooner Mary east of Charleston, S.C., on 3 December. She participated in the attacks on Fort Fisher on 24 and 25 December 1864 and 13 and 14 January 1865. She went into action against Fort Anderson on 18 February, shelling the works at Port Royal until the latter part of April. She was ordered to Portsmouth, N.H., on 26 April and decommissioned on 11 May.

Recommissioned on 18 January 1866, Mackinaw served in the North Atlantic Squadron and in the West Indies until decommissioning on 4 May 1867. She was sold at public auction at Philadelphia on 3 October 1867.

Updated, Robert J,. Cressman

11 January 2022

Published: Tue Jan 11 15:25:13 EST 2022