823 USS Miantonomoh Civil War Union Navy Ship
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USS Miantonomoh
Civil War Union Naval Ship

USS Miantonomoh (1865-1874)

USS Miantonomoh , a 3401-ton twin-turret monitor, was built at the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York. Commissioned in September 1865, she served briefly with the North Atlantic Squadron along the U.S. east coast, then was inactive at the Washington Navy Yard, D.C., until April 1866. After a short stay at New York, in early May Miantonomoh departed on a historic trans-Atlantic voyage, accompanied by USS Augusta and USS Ashuelot . Carrying Assistant Secretary of the Navy Gustavus V. Fox for most of the trip, she arrived in Ireland in mid-June to begin nearly a year of visits to ports from the Baltic to the Mediterranean.

Miantonomoh was decommissioned at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in July 1867, soon after returning to the U.S. from Europe. She recommissioned in November 1869. In January 1870, she steamed north to meet the British ironclad Monarch and USS Plymouth , which were bringing the body of the great philanthropist George Peabody back to Massachusetts for burial. The monitor then operated along the U.S. Atlantic coast until July 1870, when she was laid up at the boston Navy Yard. During that period of active service, she was involved in two collisions, sinking the schooner Sarah at New York in December 1869 and the Navy tug Maria off Martha's Vinyard, Massachusetts, in January 1870. In 1874-75, as part of a program to "rebuild" Civil War era monitors into modern ones, her wooden hull was broken up and construction of a new iron-hulled ship, also named Miantonomoh , was begun at Chester, Pennsylvania, essentially retaining only the name of the original.

Watercolor by Oscar Parkes

Moored off the Washington Navy Yard, D.C., in 1865-66. USS Montauk is tied up alongside, to the left.
The Navy Yard's western shiphouse is visible in the right background.

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Washington Navy Yard, D.C.
Ships moored in the Anacostia River off the Yard's waterfront, after the end of the Civil War, about 1865.
The large twin-turret monitor in the center is Miantonomoh , with the smaller monitor Montauk tied up alongside her, to the left. In the left distance are the "light draft" monitor Chimo and the twin-turret monitor Tonawanda . The former Confederate ironclad Stonewall is beyond them.
In the right distance is the Yard's western shiphouse. Ship at right is probably USS Resaca

Peabody Funeral Fleet, January 1870
Probably photographed at Portland, Maine.
The most distant ship, in right center, is HMS Monarch , which carried the body of the late philanthropist George M. Peabody home to the United States for burial.
Her escort, USS Plymouth , is next closest to the camera.
The twin-turret monitor is probably USS Miantonomoh , which was detailed to meet the funeral ships when they arrived in U.S. waters.

Ship's junior officers on her afterdeck, circa 1869-1870.
Among those present are: Lieutenant Thomas Perry (4th from left); and Surgeon Newton L. Bates (extreme right).
Note the XV" shot in rack by the hatch in the foreground

Enlisted crewmen on board, circa 1869-1870.
Miantonomoh cap ribbons are visible some of these men, with ship name readable on the original print



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Sources:
U.S. National Park Service
U.S. Library of Congress
US Naval Archives


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