Skip to main content
Related Content
Document Type
  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
File Formats
Location of Archival Materials

Passaic I (Monitor)

(Mon: t. 844; l. 200'; b. 46'; dph. 12'6"; dr. 10'6"; s. 7 k.; a. 1 15" D. sb.; 1 11" D. sb.; cl. Passaic)

A city and a county in New Jersey.


The first Passaic, a single turreted, coastal monitor, built by Continental Iron Works, Greenport, N.Y., under subcontract from John Ericsson, was launched 30 August 1862; and commissioned 25 November 1862, Capt. Percival Drayton in command.

Two days later the new monitor departed New York and joined the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron at Hampton Roads on the 29th but was immediately sent to the Washington Navy Yard for repairs. There President Lincoln visited the ship with members of his cabinet 6 December. After returning to Hampton Roads on the 26th, Passaic, towed by State of Georgia, got underway three days later with Monitor, towed by Rhode Island, heading for Beaufort, N.C. Encountering bad weather off Cape Hatteras, N.C., she leaked badly and was forced to work her pumps and throw all shot overboard to remain afloat, but she reached Beaufort on New Year's Day 1863. Monitor foundered during the storm.

Anchoring off Port Royal, S.C., on 21 January, she proceeded to Wassau. Sound. On 23 February with Marblehead, Passaic captured schooner Glide laden with cotton. With her sister monitors, Passaic attacked Fort McAllister to test her fighting capabilities in action. On 7 April, she took part in Rear Admiral DuPont's attack on Charleston. Severely battered during the engagement, she returned to New York and decommissioned for repairs 12 May.

Recommissioned 19 July, Passaic arrrived off Morris Island in Charleston Harbor on the 25th, and took part in all operations against that place. Rear Admiral Dahlgren used her as his flagship during the attack on Fort Moultrie, and she assisted in rescuing Lehigh when that monitor ran aground under the fire of Fort Moultrie.

On 16 June 1865, Passaic decommissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and was laid up there from 1866 to 1874. Repaired during the following year, she recommissioned in Hampton Roads, 24 November 1876. From 1878 to 1882 she served as Receiving Ship at Washington, D.C. From 1883 to 1892 she was stationed at the Naval Academy, Annapolis, and from 1893 to 1894 at the Navy Yard, Boston, Mass. During 1895 and 1896 she was loaned to the Massachusetts Naval Militia and during the next two years to the Naval Militia at Brunswick, Ga.

On 16 May 1898 Passaic again recommissioned, was assigned to the Naval Auxiliary Force and sent to Key West and Pensacola. She decommissioned at the Navy Yard, Pensacola, Fla., 11 September 1898 and was sold to Frank Samuels 10 October 1899.

Pontiac (q.v.) was renamed Passaic II April 1918.

Published: Tue Aug 18 14:51:38 EDT 2015