USS Gertrude (1863)

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United States
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: 1863
Acquired: 4 June 1863
Commissioned: 22 July 1863
Decommissioned: 11 August 1865
Struck: 1865 (est.)
  • by Union Navy forces
  • 16 April 1863
Fate: sold 30 November 1865
General characteristics
Displacement: 350 tons
Length: 156'
Beam: 21'
Draught: depth of hold 11'
Speed: not known
Complement: not known
  • two 12-pounder rifles
  • six 24-pounder howitzers
Armour: iron

USS Gertrude (1863) was a blockade-running steamship captured by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She was placed in service by the Navy as a gunship and assigned to patrol the southern coast of the United States for ships attempting to run the Union blockade of Southern ports.

Blockade runner Gertrude captured[edit]

Iron steamer Gertrude, a British blockade runner, was built in Greenock, Scotland, in 1863. She was captured 16 April 1863 by USS Vanderbilt off Eleuthera Island and purchased from the New York City Prize Court by the Navy 4 June 1863. Gertrude was fitted out at New York Navy Yard and commissioned there 22 July 1863, Acting Master Walter K. Cressy in command.

Assigned to the West Gulf blockade[edit]

Assigned to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron under Rear Admiral David Farragut, Gertrude arrived off Mobile, Alabama, in early August and on 16 August captured Confederate blockade runner Warrior following a 9-hour chase.

After taking her prize to New Orleans, Louisiana, Gertrude was assigned blockade duty off that port. She served as a blockading ship, alternating between New Orleans and Mobile, until May 1864, and was credited with the capture of schooner Ellen 16 January 1864. During this period she also spent short periods at Ship Island, Mississippi, and New Orleans for repairs.

Texas coast operations[edit]

Beginning in May 1864, Gertrude was assigned to blockade the Texas coast, and spent most of the next year off Galveston, Texas. She visited blockading stations off Sabine Pass and Velasco, Texas, and took blockade runner Eco off Galveston 19 February 1865.

Gertrude also captured over 50 bales of cotton 19 April 1865 which were thrown overboard by famous Confederate blockade runner Denbigh during her escape from the blockading fleet.

Post-war decommissioning, sale, and subsequent career[edit]

Gertrude decommissioned 11 August 1865 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and was sold 30 November at New York City to George Wright. She was redocumented Gussie Telfair in 1866 and sailed as a merchantman until 1878.


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

See also[edit]