Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Montgomery III (ScStGbt)

(ScStGbt.: t. 787; l. 201'6"; b. 28'7"; dr. 15'6"; s. 8 k.; a. 1 8", 4 32‑pdrs.)

During the French and Indian War, Richard Montgomery, born in northern Ireland 23 December 1739, fought at Quebec with Wolfe, and in the campaign against the Spanish West Indies. He returned to America in 1772, purchased an estate on the Hudson River, and married the daughter of Robert R. Livingston.

When war with England broke out, Montgomery sided with the Americans and was commissioned brigadier general in the fall of 1775. He succeeded General Schuyler in command of the expedition against Canada, captured Fort St. John's and Fort Chambly, and entered Montreal in triumph. Montgomery was killed by British artillery during an unsuccessful assault on Quebec, 31 December 1775.


Montgomery, a wooden screw steamer, was built at New York in 1858; chartered by the Navy in May 1861; purchased at New York 28 August 1861; and commissioned 27 May 1861 at New York, Comdr. O. S. Glisson in command.

From June to November, Montgomery blockaded Apalachicola, Fla., off which she captured Finland, lacking proper papers, 29 August. In November, she began patrolling the coast from Washington to Cape Fear River, and on the 8th had a running fight with Tallahassee, the Confederate iron propellor. After temporary duty off Ship Island 2 December, she was attacked off Horn Island Pass 2 days later by Florida and Pamlico, but was not damaged.

Joining the East Gulf Blockading Squadron 20 January 1862, Montgomery reported off Ship Island 3 days later. She took schooner Isabel (formerly W. R. King) off Atchafalaya Bay 1 February, then carried dispatches to Tampa before joining the West Gulf Blockading Squadron to hunt for schooner Columbia off San Luis Pass, Tex., 5 April. Finding the schooner abandoned, Montgomery burned her, then captured a large sloop. Cruising the Mexican and Texas coasts, she helped free American citizens held in Mexico the latter part of April and took British schooner Will‑o-‑the‑Wisp of the Rio Grande 3 June.

Further prizes were Blanche, chased ashore at Havana 7 October; British steamer Caroline, taken off Mobile 28 October; and sloop William E. Chester, taken 20 November. She continued to blockade Mobile into 1863, then joined the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, searching for Confederate cruiser Tacony off Nantucket Shoals in June and Confederate armed cruiser Florida in the same area in July. In August she joined the Wilmington Blockade for the remainder of the year.

Among her 1864 operations in this area were the capture of Pet 11February; the destruction of blockade running steamer Dove 7 June; the capture of Bendigo, aground on Wilmington Bar 13 June; and the seizure of Bat off Western Bar 11 October. Other ships of the blockade aided in these captures. In December and January she joined in the attack on and capture of Fort Fisher.

In February 1865, Montgomery patrolled off Cape Fear River, engaging Half Moon Battery the 11th, then beginning a coastal patrol from Wilmington to Georgetown, S.C., 24 February. Decommissioning at Philadelphia Navy Yard 20 June 1865, she was sold at public auction 10 August 1865, redocumented 1 April 1866, and had merchant service into 1877.

Published: Tue Aug 11 12:04:16 EDT 2015