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Crusader I (Screw Steamer)

(ScStr: t. 545; l. 169'; b. 28'; dr. 12'6"; s. 8 k.; cpl. 92; a. 4 32-pdr., 8 24-pdr, 112-pdr.)

One pursuing a goal with great dedication.


Southern Star, a screw steamer, was chartered by the Navy in October 1858 to accompany a military-diplomatic expedition to Paraguay to settle grievances growing out of an unprovoked attack on Water Witch by Paraguayan forts in 1855. Commissioned 27 October 1858, Commander A. M. Pennock in command, Southern Star sailed 2 November for Asuncion, Paraguay, arriving 25 January 1859. Her mission accomplished, she departed from Montevideo, Uraguay, 22 March to return to Norfolk. Here she was purchased by the Navy and renamed Crusader. She was sent to Philadelphia Navy Yard to be outfitted for naval service under the command of Lieutenant J. N. Maffitt.

Crusader cleared Philadelphia 7 October 1859 for duty with the Home Squadron in the suppression of the slave trade in West Indian waters until 7 February 1861, returning to New York 16 February. Following another tour of duty in the Gulf of Mexico from 16 March to 28 August 1861, during which she captured two vessels to prevent their sale for use as Confederate privateers, she was placed out of commission 17 September 1861 for repairs.

Crusader sailed 18 January 1862 to join the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. She cruised off the South Carolina coast until 10 August. With E. B. Hale she conducted a successful expedition up the South Edisto River on 28 April to capture a Confederate battery, the officers and men of both ships earning a commendation from the Secretary of the Navy for their courageous conduct. On a similar raid Crusader and Planter drove off a band of Confederates from Simmons' Bluff and destroyed their camp on 21 June.

After repairs at New York, Crusader put to sea 22 September 1862 to join the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. She was diverted to duty in the Chesapeakeand inland waters of Virginia and served in this area until the end of the war. She captured five vessels with valuable cargoes and destroyed four others. Crusader was decommissioned at Washington Navy Yard 13 June 1865 and sold there 20 July 1865.

Published: Mon Jul 06 09:53:28 EDT 2015