USS Philippi (1863)

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Confederate States
Name: SS Ella
Captured: by U.S Navy forces 10 November 1863
United States
Name: USS Philippi
Namesake: Philippi, an ancient city in Macedonia
Acquired: 23 February 1864
Commissioned: early April 1864
Fate: Sunk 5 August 1864
General characteristics
Type: Steamer
Tonnage: 311 gross tons
Length: 140 ft (43 m)
Beam: 24 ft (7.3 m)
Depth of hold: 9 ft 10 in (3.00 m)
Propulsion: Steam engine with sidewheel
Complement: 41
Armament: two 12-pounder rifles

USS Philippi (1863) was a blockade runner captured by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She served the Union Navy’s struggle against the Confederate States of America as a picket, patrol and dispatch vessel.

Blockade runner Ella captured by USS Howquah[edit]

Union steamer USS Howquah discovered new and fast sidewheeler Ella 10 November 1863 steaming along the coast north of Fort Fisher, North Carolina. She immediately gave chase and fired a shot at the blockade runner which glanced off Ella’s gallows frame and caused her to surrender.

The Boston, Massachusetts, Prize Court subsequently condemned the prize and sold her to the Navy 23 February 1864. Renamed Philippi four days later, the steamer commissioned early in April.

Damaged and sank while assigned to the West Gulf blockade[edit]

Philippi was ordered to New Orleans, Louisiana, on the 11th for duty in the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, Philippi served the squadron as a picket, patrol, and dispatch vessel until set afire by Confederate artillery and destroyed while following Admiral David Farragut’s fleet into Mobile Bay 5 August 1864.

See also[edit]


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

Coordinates: 30°23′01″N 88°02′00″W / 30.3835°N 88.0334°W / 30.3835; -88.0334