USS Commodore Hull (1862)

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For other ships of the same name, see USS Hull.
USS Commodore Hull
USS Commodore Hull
Career (US) Union Navy Jack
Name: USS Commodore Hull
Namesake: Commodore Isaac Hull
Ordered: as Nuestra Senora de Regla
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: in 1860 at New York
Acquired: 1 September 1862
Commissioned: 27 November 1862
Decommissioned: 8 June 1865 at the New York Navy Yard
Struck: 1865 (est.)
Fate: sold, 27 September 1865
General characteristics
Type: Gunboat
Displacement: 376 long tons (382 t)
Length: 141 ft (43 m)
Beam: 28 ft 4 in (8.64 m)
Draft: 9 ft (2.7 m)
Propulsion: Steam engine
side-wheel propelled
Speed: 10 kn (12 mph; 19 km/h)
Complement: Unknown
Armament: 2 × 30-pounder rifles, 4 × 24-pounder smoothbore guns

USS Commodore Hull (1862) was a ferryboat acquired by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She was outfitted as a gunboat and assigned to the Union blockade of the Confederate States of America.

Built in New York[edit]

Commodore Hull – a side-wheel ferryboat – was built at New York in 1860 (or 1861[1]) as the civilian ferryboat Nuestra Señora del Regla, intended for use at Havana, Cuba. Purchased by the Union Navy on 1 September 1862, she was converted to a gunboat and commissioned on 27 November 1862, Acting Master W. G. Saltonstall in command.

Commodore Hull was named in honor of Commodore Isaac Hull (1773–1843), a significant U.S. Naval commander during and after the War of 1812. There were four subsequent USS Hulls, all destroyers.

Civil War Service[edit]

Assigned to the North Atlantic blockade[edit]

Commodore Hull's ferryboat design made her especially useful for operations in sheltered waters, so she was assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron and operated along the coasts and rivers of Virginia and North Carolina. She took part in the siege of Washington, N.C. from 30 March–16 April 1863.

In Albemarle Sound, she took part in the 5 May 1864 battle with the Confederate ironclad CSS Albemarle. As a picket, Commodore Hull was the first to sight the formidable ram approaching and fired at her from close quarters in the three-hour engagement.

Siege of Plymouth[edit]

Commodore Hull joined in the attacks on and the capture of Plymouth, N.C. on 29 October. On 31 October, she was heavily damaged by Confederate batteries, losing four killed and three wounded. Coxswain Patrick Colbert was awarded the Medal of Honor for action on that date. Colbert's Medal of Honor citation reads:

"Served on board the U.S.S. Commodore Hull at the capture of Plymouth, 31 October 1864. Painfully wounded by a shell which killed the man at his side, Colbert, as captain of the forward pivot gun, remained at his post until the end of the action, braving the heavy enemy fire and appearing as cool as if at mere target practice."

End of service[edit]

Commodore Hull was repaired and remained active until the end of the Civil War. She was decommissioned on 8 June 1865 at the New York Navy Yard. Commodore Hull was sold at the Yard on 27 September. She was subsequently renamed to Waccamaw in civilian employment, which lasted until sometime prior to 1885. Abandoned on the Cape Fear River across from downtown Wilmington, North Carolina, the steamboat was burned to the waterline in 1886. Some of her remains are still visible at low tide.

See also[edit]


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