U.S. Navy Steam Frigate USS NIAGARA Cruise of 1864-65

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Ship’s Official Record of Cruise
Printed on paper
Publisher S.J.
Weisman, Southampton, England  (The Getty Museum has three examples of this publisher’s works. Active 1860-1865  www.getty.edu/art/collection/artists/10054/s-wiseman.)                                                                                                
Unframed 28″ x 21″                       Framed 32″
X 25″
Hand Penned entries
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 – 1865ADDITIONAL PORTS VISTED of which thisis the only record


Additional Ports added by pen


Departure Date=#000000>

Destination Port=#00000>

Date Arrived=#000000>

Days in Port=#000000>

Days at Sea=#000000>

Dist. Logged=#000000>

Queenstown, Ireland=#000000>

June 26=#000000>

Flushing, Holland,=#000000>

June 30=#000000>




Flushing, Holland=#000000>

July 30=#00000>

Deal, England=#000000>

July 31=#000000>

18 Hours=#000000>

1 =#000000>


Deal, England=#000000>

August  1=#000000>

Dungeness, England=#000000>

August 2=#000000>




Dungeness, England

August 3

Queenstown, Ireland

August 12

16 Hours



Queenstown, Ireland

August 13

Cadiz, Spain

August 24




Cadiz, Spain

August 28

Boston, Mass

September 20





CIVIL WAR HISTORY OF NIAGARA: Quickly preparedfor 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. Throughthe summer she gave similar service at Mobile Bay, and was at Fort Pickens, Florida, 22 September when Flag Officer WilliamMcKean 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 NavyYard, where she decommissioned 16 June. Recommissioned 14 October 1863, Niagara steamed from New York 1 June 1864 to watchover Confederate warships then fitting out in Europe. She reached her base, Antwerp, 26 June, and from there roved the EnglishChannel, 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 Stonewallfrom departing, but the much more powerful southern ship was able to make good her escape.  NIAGARA patrolled withthe European Squadron through


  • 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 westwardfrom Ireland
  • 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 Echooff 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 toNew 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 southernports at , Charleston, and at Mobile Bay
  • As flagship of Flag Officer McKean’s East Gulf Blockading Squadron Niagara engagedConfederate 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 Confederatewarships then fitting out in Europe
  • Took steamer Georgia, a former Confederate warship in the Bay of Biscay, 15 August1864
  • Niagara patrolled with the European Squadron through 29 August when she cleared Cadizfor Boston, arriving 20 September 1865. There she decommissioned 28 September, remaining in the Boston Navy Yard until sold6 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 thebroadsheet – Arrival Boston, 20 September 1865


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