USS Ice Boat (1861)

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USS Ice Boat 1861.jpg
Docked at the Washington Navy Yard, 23 May 1861
United States
Ordered: on loan from city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: date unknown
Acquired: 1861
In service: 23 April 1861
Out of service: November 1861
Struck: 1861
Homeport: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nickname(s): Refrigerator or Release
General characteristics
Displacement: not known
Length: not known
Propulsion: steam engine
Complement: not known
Armament: 4 × 32 pdr (15 kg) gun

USS Ice Boat was a vessel borrowed from the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by the Union Navy when the American Civil War suddenly broke out. She was placed in service immediately and kept in service until she could be replaced by Union Navy vessels, built or borrowed, and then returned to Philadelphia.

Temporary assistance to the Union Navy[edit]

Ice Boat, also known as Refrigerator and Release, was owned by the city of Philadelphia and offered to the Union Navy free of expense soon after the outbreak of the American Civil War. She was placed in service at Philadelphia 23 April 1861, Commodore Oliver S. Glisson in command.[1]

Supporting the initial stability of the Potomac River area[edit]

She departed Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the same day to protect the landing of troops at Annapolis, Maryland, to encourage Maryland's adherence to the Union and to be available for the defense of Washington, D.C.

Ice Boat was ordered to Washington for duty in the Potomac River 21 May arriving two days later.[2] Most of her service was off Aquia Creek where she labored to stop trade across the Potomac River between Virginia and Maryland, occasionally engaging Confederate batteries on the Virginia shore.

Defending the Nation’s Capital after Union loss at Bull Run[edit]

News of the Union Army's defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run caused Ice Boat's return to Washington to defend the Nation's Capital. A fortnight later the ship was back off Aquia Creek where she remained until she was returned to her owner late in November 1861.

Commanding officers[edit]

During its seven months of service in the U.S. Navy, the Ice Boat served under the following officers:[1]

Commanding Officers
Commander Oliver S. Glisson 23 April 1861–16 August 1861
Lieutenant Foxhall A. Parker, Jr. 17 August 1861–20 August 1861
Lieutenant Thomas Pattison 21 August 1861–16 November 1861
Acting Master F. P. Parks 17 November 1861–November 1861

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Gonyo, Bill. "Drawing of USS Ice Boat". NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Phila. Ice Boat. Navy Yard. Washington DC May 23/61.". Retrieved 18 September 2012. 

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