USS Orvetta (1861)

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Union Navy Jack United States
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: date unknown
Acquired: 1 October 1861
Commissioned: 27 January 1862
Decommissioned: 3 July 1865
Struck: 1865 (est.)
Fate: sold, 15 August 1865
General characteristics
Displacement: 199 tons
Length: 93 ft (28 m)
Beam: 27 ft 2 in (8.28 m)
Depth of hold: 7 ft 10 in (2.39 m)
Propulsion: sail
Speed: 11 knots
Complement: 37
  • two 32-pounder guns
  • one 13” gun
  • two heavy 12-pounder smoothbores

USS Orvetta (1861) was a schooner acquired by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She was used by the Navy to patrol navigable waterways of the Confederacy to prevent the South from trading with other countries.

Orvetta was purchased by the Navy at New York City 1 October 1861 from E. & D. Bigelow, agents; and commissioned at New York Navy Yard 27 January 1862, Acting Master Francis E. Blanchard in command.

Fitted out with mortars and assigned to the Mississippi River[edit]

One of 21 schooners fitted out with mortars for a bomb flotilla organized by Comdr. David Dixon Porter to support Flag Officer David Farragut’s deep draft ships in their attack on New Orleans, Orvetta sailed down the Atlantic coast, across the Gulf of Mexico, and into the Mississippi River through Pass a l’Outre below Fort St. Philip and Fort Jackson, 18 April 1862.

Orvetta and her sister schooners opened fire and maintained the barrage on the Confederate fortifications until the 24th when Farragut’s salt water ships passed the forts. The next day New Orleans, Louisiana, surrendered.

The schooner subsequently supported operations in the Mississippi River, especially against Vicksburg and served in the Gulf of Mexico.

Post-war decommissioning and sale[edit]

After the war she decommissioned at New York City 3 July 1865 and was sold at auction there to a Mr. Henseman 15 August 1865. Her mortar is now a memorial in Bristol, New Hampshire.

See also[edit]


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