Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Maratanza I (SwStr)

(SwStr: t. 786; l. 209'; b. 32': dr. 9'6"; s. 10 k.; a. 1 100‑pdr., 1 9", 4 24‑pdrs.)


Double‑ender, wooden steamer Maratanza, built at Boston Navy Yard in 1861, was launched 26 November and commissioned at Boston 12 April 1862, Comdr. G. H. Scott in command.

Immediately after commissioning, Maratanza saw service in support of McClellan's Peninsula Campaign, operating on the York and James Rivers from April to September 1862. After participating in the capture of Yorktown 3 May, Maratanza shelled various points, including Wormley's Creek, Murrell's Inlet, and Fort Darling‑Drewry's Bluff. En route to scouting Turkey Bend, 4 July, she engaged and captured CSS Teaser at Haxall's.

After the collapse of the Peninsula Campaign, Maratanza departed Hampton Roads 15 September for blockade and cruising duty off Wilmington, N.C., firing on Fort Casswell the 25th. She remained there on patrol duty through much of the conflict, joining Chocura in capturing sloop Express off the South Carolina coast 4 May and capturing sloop Ceres on Western Bar, Smith's Island, N.C., 7 December.

As Union forces assembled to move against Wilmington, Maratanza participated in the bombardment of Fort Fisher 24 and 25 December 1864 and 13 through 15 January 1865 when Porter noted that the Union had enough forces there to hold against the whole Southern Confederacy. Maratanza captured steamers Stag and Charlotte 20 January. She participated in the bombardment and capture of Fort Anderson 19 February, opening the way to Wilmington. In March, Sherman was at Fayatteville, where boat crews from Maratanza, two other gunboats, and Eolus rendezvoused with him, opening communications between Sherman's position and the coast.

After the end of the conflict, Maratanza was detached from her station on Cape Fear River in June and was ordered north, arriving Portsmouth, N.H., Navy Yard the 18th and decommissioning the 21st. She remained in ordinary at Portsmouth until sold to A. B. & C. W. Lewis in 1868.

Published: Wed Aug 05 14:33:27 EDT 2015