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Conemaugh I (Side-Wheel Gunboat)


river in Pennsylvania.


(Side-Wheel Gunboat: displacement 1,105; length 233'9"; beam 34'10"; draft 8'7”; speed 11.0 knots; complement 165; armament 1 100-pounder rifle, 1 11-inch smoothbore, 6 24-pounder smoothbore, 1 12-pounder smoothbore; class Sonoma)

The schooner-rigged side-wheel double-ender gunboat Cinemaugh, designed by naval engineers John Lenthall and Benjamin F. Isherwood, laid down at Portsmouth, N.H., by the Portsmouth Navy Yard in 1861, was renamed Conemaugh on 26 December 1861, launched on 1 May 1862.; and commissioned on 16 July 1862, Lt. Reed Werden in command.

Conemaugh sailed from Portsmouth on 19 July 1862 and arrived at Port Royal, S.C., on 30 July to join the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. She patrolled and served as a picket, frequently engaging Confederate batteries and detachments of troops along stream banks. Among such exchanges were those with the Cat Island battery on 5 March, 13 April and 23 May 1863 and Fort Wagner on 11 and 12 July 1863. Conemaugh entered Philadelphia Navy Yard on 19 September 1863 and was placed out of commission four days later for repairs and alterations.

Clearing Philadelphia on 24 January 1864, the refitted Conemaugh arrived at Key West, Fla., on 1 February for duty with the West Gulf Blockading Squadron. She carried stores and ordnance to the ships off Mobile, Alabama. She captured the blockade runner Judson on 30 April and sent her into Ship Island with her valuable cargo of cotton and turpentine. With Rear-Adm. David G. Farragut's fleet, Conemaugh landed troops on Dauphin Island on 3 August and participated in the Battle of Mobile Bay on 5 August. She sailed from Key West on 5 November for overhaul at Philadelphia.

From 20 May to 22 November 1865 Conemaugh cruised the coast of North and South Carolina during her second tour with the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. She lay at Norfolk from 25 November 1865 to 27 May 1866, then was assigned to the North Atlantic Squadron. Conemaugh cruised on the coast of the Carolinas and Florida until 23 July 1867 when she put in to New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn. N.Y., where she was decommissioned on 27 July 1867 and sold on 1 October 1867.

Updated, Robert J. Cressman

8 June 2022

Published: Wed Jun 08 17:08:24 EDT 2022