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Manhattan I (Mon)

(Mon: dp. 2,100; l. 223'; b. 43'4"; dr. 11'6"; s. 13 k.; cpl. 100 (approx.); a. 2 XV‑in. D. sb.; cl. Canonicus)

An Indian tribe of the Wappinger Confederacy which occupied the area now the site of New York City, and which gave its name to the island at the northern end of New York Bay, bounded by the Hudson, the East, and the Harlem Rivers.


The first Manhattan was built by Perine, Secor & Co., New York, N.Y., at the yard of Joseph Coldwell, Jersey City, N.J.; launched 14 October 1863; and commissioned at the New York Navy Yard 6 June 1864, Comdr. J. W. A. Nicholson in command.

Immediately following commissioning, the single‑turreted monitor sailed for the Gulf of Mexico in late July, joining Rear Admiral Farragut's squadron, then readying for what was to be the Battle of Mobile Bay. On 5 August, with three other monitors, Tecumseh, Winnebago, and Chickasaw, she formed a screen to the starboard of the squadron's wooden ships to protect them from the guns of Fort Morgan which they would pass at close range while entering the bay. In the course of the battle, she engaged the Confererate ram Tennessee and received her surrender. Thereafter, her mighty XV‑inch guns added to the bombardment of Fort Morgan, the last Confederate stronghold in Mobile Bay, which surrendered 23 August after a valiant defense.

In November Manhattan sailed to New Orleans and later to the mouth of the Red River, remaining there until May 1865. Thence she returned to New Orleans, where, in August, she was laid up in ordinary. On 15 June 1869, while still inactive, she was renamed Neptune, only to resume her original name 10 August.

In 1870 Manhattan was taken to Key West, laid up for a short time, and then taken to Philadelphia, where she was fitted out 1872‑73. Recommissioned 19 November 1873, she returned to Key West for fleet maneuvers and then proceeded on to Pensacola. On 25 April 1876 she departed the west coast of Florida and sailed to Port Royal, S.C. She cruised off the Carolinas until June 1877, when she sailed to Norfolk, Va. The following year she was towed up the James River and anchored at Brandon. Moved to City Point in 1881 and then to Richmond in 1888, she was finally taken to Philadelphia and laid up at League Island where she remained until after the turn of the century. Struck from the Navy list 14 December 1901, she was sold 24 March 1902.

Published: Wed Aug 05 13:40:09 EDT 2015