USS Congress (1868)

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For other ships with the same name, see USS Congress.
Name: USS Congress
Builder: Philadelphia Navy Yard
Launched: 17 July 1868
Commissioned: 4 March 1870
Decommissioned: 26 July 1876
Fate: Sold, 20 September 1883
General characteristics
Type: Screw sloop
Displacement: 3,003 tons
Length: 290 ft (88 m)
Beam: 41 ft (12 m)
Complement: 480
  • 14 × 9 in (230 mm) guns
  • 1 × 60-pounder
  • 3 × 12-pounders

The fifth USS Congress was a screw sloop in the United States Navy.

Service history[edit]

Congress was launched by the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 17 July 1868, sponsored by Miss P. Drake, daughter of Senator Charles D. Drake of Missouri; and commissioned on 4 March 1870, Captain N. Harrison in command. The ship was variously known as Pushmataha, and Cambridge prior to 10 August 1869 when she was renamed Congress, the name under which she performed all her service.

Her initial cruise, undertaken in 1870, was as flagship for Commodore Joseph F. Green of the South Atlantic Squadron. Returning to Boston, Massachusetts on 29 May 1871 she was placed under Commander Henry Kallock Davenport. In the summer of that year she transported supplies from New York to the Polaris which was anchored at Godhavn, Disko Island, preparatory to departing on an Arctic expedition. Late in 1871 Congress served also as flagship for Vice Admiral Stephen Clegg Rowan who had been designated to accord suitable reception to a visiting Russian squadron.

After a cruise to Haiti in early 1872, Congress sailed from Norfolk, Virginia on 14 February to join the Mediterranean Squadron. This lengthy tour included visits to many ports of Europe and ended at Key West, Florida, where she arrived on 5 January 1874. She was back in the Mediterranean by 9 April and visited ports on the coasts of Africa and Europe before returning to Philadelphia to visit the Centennial Exposition of 1876.

Congress was decommissioned on 26 July 1876, at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and laid up in ordinary until 20 September 1883, when she was sold.