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Sagamore I (Steam Gunboat)


(StGbt.: t. 507; l. 158'; b. 28'; dph. 12'; s. 6 k.; cpl. 78; a. 1 20-pdr., 2 24-pdrs., 1 light 12-pdr.)

An Indian term for a lesser chief or tribal chief among certain North American Indians.

The first Sagamore, a wooden, screw, steam gunboat built by the A. & G. T. Sampson and Atlantic Works, Boston, Mass., was launched on 1 September 1861 and commissioned on 7 December 1861 at the Boston Navy Yard.

On 26 November 1861, Sagamore received orders to report to Flag Officer William W. McKean for duty as part of the East Gulf Blockading Squadron which patrolled the waters off the coasts of Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi.

Sagamore's first encounter with the enemy came at Apalachicola, Fla. On 3 April 1862, armed boat crews from Sagamore and Mercedita captured the city without resistance.

On 11 September 1862, a landing party from Sagamore destroyed the salt works, which could produce 200 bushels a day, at St. Andrews Bay, Fla.

Sagamore next captured the blockade-running English schooner By George off Indian River, Fla., on 1 December 1862, with a cargo of coffee and sugar.

In the month of January 1863, Sagamore captured Avenger, Julia, and destroyed the sloop Elizabeth. Next she captured the sloop Enterprise on 8 March 1863, and the sloop New York on 26 April 1863.

On 28 July 1863, boats from Sagamore and Para attacked New Smyrna, Fla. After shelling the town, Union forces captured two schooners; caused the Confederate forces to destroy several other vessels, some of which were loaded with cotton and ready to sail; and burned large quantitites of cotton on shore.

Following the attack at New Smyrna, Sagamore returned to her coastal duties. On 8 August 1863, Sagamore captured the sloops Clara Louise, Southern Rights, Shot, and Ann.

On 21 April 1864, boat expeditions from Sagamore took 100 bales of cotton and destroyed 300 additional bales near Clay Landing on the Suwannee River, Fla.

Sagamore's final action in the Civil War took place on 7 June 1864. Suspecting that Confederate forces were using cotton to erect breastworks on the banks of the Suwannee River, a boat expedition composed of men from Sagamore and Clyde proceeded up the river and captured over 100 bales of cotton in the vicinity of Clay Landing.

Sagamore was decommissioned on 1 December 1864 at Philadelphia, Pa., and was sold at New York, N.Y., on 13 June 1865.

Published: Tue Sep 01 14:35:43 EDT 2015