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Moccasin I (ScTug)

(ScTug: t. 192; l. 14'5"; b. 22'3"; dr. 91; s. 10 k. (max.) a. 3 12‑pdr. r. (30 September 1864)

A soft leather shoe or boot with the sole brought up the sides of the foot and over the toes where it is joined with a puckered seam to a U‑shaped piece laying on top of the foot; of Algonquian origin, as Narragansett mocussin and Massachuset mohkisson, meaning shoe.


The first Moccasin, a wood screw tug, was built as Hero in 1864 at Philadelphia, Pa.; purchased by the Navy 11 July 1864 from S. & J. M. Flanagan at Philadelphia; and commissioned 14 July 1864 at Philadelphia Navy Yard, Acting Ens. James Brown in command.

Assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, on 25 July Hero was renamed Moccasin. She acted as guard boat off Fort Delaware, Pea Patch Island, Del., until 13 August when Moccasin joined tug Aster and brig Yantic in pursuit of blockade‑runner CSS Tallahassee. The two tugs cruised as far north as Nantucket Island, Mass., before returning to Philadelphia 19 August. Moccasin resumed patrol off Fort Delaware into early 1865.

On 13 March 1865 Moccasin was ordered to St. Inigoes, Md., for duty with the Potomac Flotilla under Comdr. Foxhall A. Parker. Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox 9 April, but the news was slow in spreading. With half of the flotilla released from service in May, Moccasin continued operations in the Potomac River. On 30 July ferry boat Wyandank took Moccasin in tow for Norfolk, where the tug debarked patients from the Washington, D.C., naval hospital.

Upon return to Washington, Moccasin was decommissioned 12 August and sold 18 September 1865 to the Treasury Department for use as a revenue cutter.

Published: Tue Aug 11 08:08:57 EDT 2015