Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Otsego II (Double-ended Side-wheel Gunboat)

(SwStr: t. 974; l. 205-0-; b. 35-0-; dph. 11-6-; dr. 910-; S. 14 k.; cpl. 145; a. 2 100-pdr. P.r., 2 20-pdr. P.r., 4 9-, 2 24-pdrs.)

Counties in Michigan and New York, and a town in Allegon Co., in southwestern Michigan 13 miles north of Kalamazoo.


The second Otsego, a wooden, double-ended, side-wheel gunboat, was launched 31 March 1863 by Jacob A. & D. D. Westervelt, New York, N.Y., and apparently commissioned in the spring of 1864, Comdr. J. P. Bankhead in command.

Assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron 2 May 1864, Otsego reached Hampton Roads on the 24th, and got underway on 12 June for New Berne, N.C. and served in the North Carolina Sounds where she served throughout her career, helping tighten the Union grip on these strategic waters and adjoining territory, primarily guarding the mouth of the Roanoke River against an attack by Confederate ironclad ram Albemarle. When Lt. Cushing returned from his bold raid which destroyed the dreaded Southern ram on the night of 27-28 October, Otsego, in a group of Union ships under Comdr. Macomb ascended the Roanoke and attacked Plymouth, N.C. forcing it to surrender after a bitter fight, 1 November. The Federal forces took 37 prisoners, 22 cannon, vast stores, 200 stands of arms, and the hulk of sunken but still important Albemarle. For more than a month thereafter, Otsego performed reconnaissance and mop up work up the Roanoke. On 9 December she struck two torpedoes in quick succession and sank in that river near Jamesville, N.C.

Hydra, a light draft monitor originally called Tunxis (q.v.), was renamed Otsego 10 August 1869.

Published: Tue Aug 18 07:51:46 EDT 2015