Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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  • Boats-Ships--Support Ships
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  • Ship History
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(SwGbt: t. 974; l. 205-; b. 35-; dph. 11-6-; dr. 9-; s. 11 k.; a. 2 100-pdr. P.r.; 4 9-, 2 20-pdr. P.r.; I 12-pdr. sb.; 1 12-pdr. r.; 2 24-pdr. how.)

An Indian word meaning "Falls on the brook"; a lake in Berkshire County, Mass.

Pontoosuc, a side wheel gunboat, built under contract with G. W. Lawrence and the Portland Locomotive Co., Portland, Maine, was commissioned at Portland, 10 May 1864, Lt. Comdr. George A. Stevens in command. Ordered to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron 9 June 1864, she soon returned north and on 12 August departed New York in pursuit of the Confederate Raider Tallahassee. Arriving at Halifax soon after 0600 on the 20th, she discovered her quarry had sailed. Underway immediately Pontoosuc continued her search to the north among the fishing fleets in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence. Tallahassee, however, had turned south enroute back to Wilmington.

Pontoosuc returned to New York on the 30th and took up escort duty. By mid December, she had resumed blockade duties, off Wilmington. On the 24th and 25th she participated in the assault on Fort Fisher, returning to shell the Fort again in the successful mid-January 1865 attack.

In February she moved up the Cape Fear River for operations against Fort Anderson. After the fall of Wilmington she resumed cruising off the coast. After the war, she returned to Boston where she decommissioned 5 July 1865 and was sold 3 October 1866.

Published: Mon Aug 24 09:20:53 EDT 2015