USS Gettysburg
Confederate Blockade Runner Douglas
Civil War Union Naval Ship

USS Gettysburg (1864-1879).
Previously the civilian steamship Douglas (1858-1863) and the blockade runner Margaret and Jessie (1863)

The 726-ton (burden) iron side-wheel steamship Douglas was built at Glasgow, Scotland, in 1858 for employment as an Isle of Man packet. Purchased by Confederate interests in November 1862, she soon began a remarkable career as a blockade runner. Douglas arrived at Charleston, South Carolina, in late January 1863 on her first voyage through the Federal blockade. She was renamed Margaret and Jessie shortly afterwards. During the next nine months, she made eight more runs into Southern ports, five to Charleston and three to Wilmington, North Carolina. While attempting another passage to Wilmington, she was captured by USS Nansemond and the U.S. Army transport Fulton on 5 November 1863.

Later in the month, the erstwhile blockade runner was purchased by the U.S. Navy. She was converted to a gunboat and commissioned as USS Gettysburg in early May 1864. Sent back to the scene of her earlier exploits, she now began to enforce the North's blockade of the South and was involved in the capture of three steamers during the rest of the year: Little Ada (9 July), Lilian (24 August) and Armstrong (4 December). Later in December 1864 and in mid-January 1865, Gettysburg took part in the two attacks that finally captured Fort Fisher, guardian of the entrance to the port of Wilmington. In addition to shelling the fort, during the January attack she put ashore a landing party of crewmen, who suffered serious casualties while attempting to force their way into the fortress. Gettysburg subsequently was used as a transport along the Atlantic Coast until decommissioned in June 1865.

Gettysburg recommissioned in December 1866 for a brief visit to the Caribbean, but went out of service at the beginning of March 1867. A year later she was reactivated and sent to the Caribbean area to conduct scientific work and protect American interests. She was again out of commission between October 1869 and November 1873. Her next period of active duty included transport duty along the Atlantic coast, punctuated by service in February-May 1874 supporting a survey of possible inter-oceanic canal routes across Central America.

Laid up again during April-September 1875, Gettysburg was assigned to carry out navigational surveys in the West Indies during late 1875 and the first several months of 1876. Following shipyard work, in October 1876 she went to the Mediterranean Sea for more survey duty. Gettysburg remained in the "middle sea" for the rest of her Navy career. She was decommissioned and sold at Genoa, Italy, in May 1879.


Painting by De Simone, depicting the ship underway in the Bay of Naples, Italy, in 1878.

Montage featuring a painting of the ship (by De Simone, Naples, 1878) and views of four officers who served in her in 1864-1865.
The officers are (clockwise from upper right):
Lieutenant Roswell H. Lamson., Commanding Officer;
Henry S. Hutchings, Paymaster's Clerk;
Acting Master's Mate H.J. ("I" ?) Derbyshire; and
Acting 3rd Assistant Engineer Enoch B. Carter (probably -- there is no Engineer named "William Carter" in contemporary Navy Registers).

USS Monitor
War, Technology, and Experience aboard the USS Monitor
The experience of the men aboard the Monitor and their reactions to the thrills and dangers that accompanied the new machine. The invention surrounded men with iron and threatened their heroism, their self-image as warriors, even their lives

Kindle Available
Naval Strategies

Naval Strategies of the Civil War: Confederate Innovations and Federal Opportunism
Compare and contrast the strategies of the Southern Secretary of the Navy, Mallory, against his rival in the North, Welles. Mallory used technological innovation and the skill of individuals to bolster the South's seapower against the Union Navy's superior numbers

Union Ironclad
Union River Ironclad 1861-65
At the start of the American Civil War, neither side had warships on the Mississippi River. In what would prove the vital naval campaign of the war, both sides fought for control of the river. While the Confederates relied on field fortifications and small gunboats, the Union built a series of revolutionary river ironclads

Engagement Between the Federal Steam-Sloop Kearsarge and the Confederate War-Steamer Alabama
Engagement Between the Federal Steam-Sloop Kearsarge
and the Confederate War-Steamer Alabama

24 in. x 18 in.
Buy at
Framed   Mounted

Civil War Replica Musket
Civil War Musket
Wood & Steel Frontier Rifle Designed After The Original Rifle

Civil War soldier toys 102 pieces
Civil War Soldier 102 Piece Playset
  • 25 Union and 25 Confederate Soldier Figures, 18 Horses, 10 Cannon
  • 2 Covered Wagons, 2 Tents, 2 Canoes, 2 Flags, 16 Fences
  • Size: Figures Stand up to 2-1/8 inches tall
  • Scale: 1/32nd, Wagons and Horses slightly smaller

Civil War Ships and Battles

Civil War Submarines

RAM Ships

Civil War Naval Timeline

American Civil War Exhibits

State Battle Maps

Civil War Summary

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Women in the Civil War

Battles by Campaign
Confederate Kepi
Civil War Confederate
Suede Grey Kepi Hat

Civil War Revolver Pistol
Civil War Model 1851 Naval Pistol

American Civil War Naval Book Titles
Kindle Available
Hunley the Confederacy Secrect Hope

The H. L. Hunley
The Secret Hope of the Confederacy

On the evening of February 17, 1864, the Confederacy  H. L. Hunley sank the USS Housatonic and became the first submarine in world history to sink an enemy ship. Not until World War I "half a century later” would a submarine again accomplish such a feat. But also perishing that moonlit night, vanishing beneath the cold Atlantic waters off Charleston, South Carolina, was the Hunley and her entire crew of eight
Confederate Blackade Runner
Confederate Blockade Runner 1861-65
The blockade runners of the Civil War usually began life as regular fast steam-powered merchant ships. They were adapted for the high-speed dashes through the Union blockade which closed off all the major Southern ports, and for much of the war they brought much-needed food, clothing and weaponry to the Confederacy
Union Monitor Civil War Ironclads
Union Monitor 1861-65
The first seagoing ironclad was the USS Monitor, and its profile has made it one of the most easily recognised warships of all time. Following her inconclusive battle with the Confederate ironclad Virginia on March 9, 1862, the production of Union monitors was accelerated. By the end of the year a powerful squadron of monitor vessels protected the blockading squadrons off the Southern coastline, and were able to challenge Confederate control of her ports and estuaries
Confederate Subs
Confederate Submarines and Torpedo Vessels 1861-65
Interesting information and many excellent illustrations. It addresses the CSA David class torpedo boats and the Hunley (and its predecessors), as well as Union examples such as the Alligator and the Spuyten Duyvil

Civil War History Documentary DVD Movie Titles
Halls of Honor
Halls of Honor
The U.S. Navy Museum takes you on an informed and entertaining romp through one of North America s oldest and finest military museums. The museum has been in continuous operation at the Washington Navy Yard since the American Civil War
Raise the Alabama
Raise The Alabama
She was known as "the ghost ship." During the Civil War, the CSS Alabama sailed over 75,000 miles and captured more than 60 Union vessels. But her career came to an end in June of 1864 when she was sunk by the USS Kearsarge off the coast of Northern France
Blue and Grey
The Blue and the Gray
The Complete Miniseries

The Civil War proved a backdrop for this 1982 miniseries. Complete and uncut three disc set. Two families divided by the War Between the States. A Southerner caught when he becomes a war correspondent for the Northern newspaper. He finds himself  where history's in the making from the Battle of Bull Run to Abraham Lincoln's assassination
Blue vs Grey
Blue Vs. Gray - Killing Fields
Relive the most vicious fighting of the Civil War, in which General Ulysses S. Grant forcibly reversed the tide of the conflict by paying with the blood of thousands. It was a desperate time for the Union

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

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