Presented is an extremely rare, original print,
of a brief abstract, referred to as an Epitome, of the U.S. Frigate NIAGARA on her cruise in European waters during
the Civil War years 1864 and 1865. There she engaged in hostile actions against the Confederate States Ships that
included the GEORGIA, SACRAMENTO and STONEWALL which escaped. The vessel's senior officer during this deployment was Thomas
T. Craven, Commodore Commanding, and Lieutenant Commander George A. Bigelow.
The printed "Broadsheet" is replete with information covering in details
the vessels construction, her armament, equipment, sails, and more importantly a detailed list of her officers and crew which
make this a truly historic document. The sheet was printed in England before the cruise was complete and there are additional
notations penned in ink of additional ports visited. The last official entry was the passage from Cadiz, Spain to Boston,
MA which ended with the ship's arrival on September 20, 1865. This contradicts the numerous entries which shows the ship out
of service in 1864.
STEAM FRIGATE USS NIAGARA - 1865 ADDITIONAL PORTS VISTED of which this
is the only record
Additional Ports added by pen
Days in Port
Days at Sea
CIVIL WAR HISTORY OF NIAGARA: Quickly prepared
for duty to assist in the blockade of southern ports, Niagara arrived off Charleston, South Carolina, 10 May,
1861, and two days later captured blockade runner General Parkhill attempting to make Charleston from Liverpool. Through
the summer she gave similar service at Mobile Bay, and was at Fort Pickens, Florida, 22 September when Flag Officer William
McKean in Niagara took command of the East Gulf Blockading Squadron. She engaged Confederate defenses at Fort McRea, Pensacola,
and Warrington 22 November, and was hulled twice above the waterline. On 5 June 1862 she sailed for repairs at Boston Navy
Yard, where she decommissioned 16 June. Recommissioned 14 October 1863, Niagara steamed from New York 1 June 1864 to watch
over Confederate warships then fitting out in Europe. She reached her base, Antwerp, 26 June, and from there roved the English
Channel, the French Atlantic Coast and the Bay of Biscay. On 15 August she took steamer Georgia, a former Confederate warship,
off Portugal. In February and March, with Sacramento she lay at El Ferrol, Spain, to prevent Confederate ironclad Stonewall
from departing, but the much more powerful southern ship was able to make good her escape. NIAGARA patrolled with
the European Squadron through
U.S. NAVY STEAM
Laid down, date unknown, at New York Navy Yard
Launched, 23 February 1855
Commissioned USS Niagara, 6 April 1857, CAPT. William L. Hudson in command.
Participated in the laying of the first transatlantic telegraph cable, between 1857 and 1858
Decommissioned at New York, 2 December 1857, after laying several hundred miles of cable westward
Recommissioned, 24 February 1858, CAPT. William L. Hudson in command
USS Niagara successfully completed laying the cable ashore at Brills Mouth Island
Niagara next carried 200 Africans liberated from the slave brig Echo
off Cuba by the brig USS Dolphin
Decommissioning at New York, 17 December 1858
Recommissioned, 14 May 1860, CAPT. William W. McKean in command
Assigned to carry Japan’s first diplomatic mission to the United States from Washington to
New York, and then home, leaving New York 30 June 1869 returning Boston 23 April 1861
During the Civil War USS Niagara was assigned to duty on the blockade of the southern
ports at , Charleston, and at Mobile Bay
As flagship of Flag Officer McKean's East Gulf Blockading Squadron Niagara engaged
Confederate defenses at Fort McRea, Pensacola, and Warrington 22 November 1861
Decommissioned, 16 June, 1862 at Boston for repairs
Recommissioned 14 October 1863, she steamed from New York 1 June 1864 to watch over Confederate
warships then fitting out in Europe
Took steamer Georgia, a former Confederate warship in the Bay of Biscay, 15 August
Niagara patrolled with the European Squadron through 29 August when she cleared Cadiz
for Boston, arriving 20 September 1865. There she decommissioned 28 September, remaining in the Boston Navy Yard until sold
6 May 1885
This record from http://www.navsource.org/ (repeated elsewhere) is in conflict with the ship's own record of the 1864-1865 European Cruise.
USS Niagara at the Boston Navy Yard, 1863
Officers and Port and Starboard Watch Sections
Various categories of information in the
broadsheet - Arrival Boston, 20 September 1865
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A extremely rare record of a U.S. Navy Civil War fighting ship of the 1860's.
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