USS Resolute (1860)

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USS Resolute (1860).jpg
USS Resolute at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, June 1861
Union Navy Jack United States
Namesake: Resolute: marked by firm determination; resolved (previous name retained)
Laid down: unknown date
Launched: 1865
Acquired: 7 May 1861
Commissioned: 12 May 1861
Decommissioned: 26 May 1865
Struck: est. 1865
Fate: sold, 24 June 1865
General characteristics
Displacement: 90 tons
Length: 88 ft 2 in (26.87 m) (reg.)
Beam: 17 ft (5.2 m)
Draught: depth of hold 7’5”
Speed: 10 knots
Complement: 17
  • one 24-pounder howitzer,
  • one 12-pounder howitzer
Armour: wood

The first USS Resolute (1860) was a steamer acquired by the Union Navy during the American Civil War.

She was purchased by the Union Navy to be part of the fleet of ships stationed in coastal waterways to prevent blockade runners from entering or departing ports of the Confederacy. She served as a gunboat and, at times, as a ship's tender and, at war's end, was sold at auction.

Built in New Jersey in 1860[edit]

Resolute, a wooden, screw tug built in 1860 at Keyport, New Jersey, was purchased by the Navy 7 May 1861 from A. Degroot of New York City; and commissioned 12 May 1861, Acting Master William Budd in command.

Civil War service[edit]

Assigned to the Potomac Flotilla[edit]

Assigned to the Union Navy's Potomac Flotilla, Resolute went into action 29 May 1861 in company with USS Thomas Freeborn, USS Anacostia, and Navy landing parties against Confederate shore batteries at Aquia Creek, Virginia.

While returning from a voyage up the Potomac River to make topographical observations with Capt. W. R. Palmer, USA, on board, Resolute captured and burned the schooner Somerset 8 June 1861 in Breton Bay.

While patrolling upriver 7 July, she encountered and successfully swept two Confederate moored mines, among the first of their kind used in the Civil War. The enterprising tug captured the coaster Ocean Wave 18 July 1861 after a long chase off the mouth of the Great Wicomico River but lost three killed and one wounded 15 August when her boat unsuccessfully attempted to capture a Confederate boat at Lower Cedar Point, Virginia.

Activity in the Virginia waterways[edit]

Resolute destroyed four boats 31 August 1861 inshore at Ferry Landing, Virginia; captured the schooner Jones 11 August 1862 and the sloop Capitola 8 November 1862; and during mid-July 1863, operated close inshore in company with USS Jacob Bell and USS Racer under fire of Confederate shore batteries at Mathias Point to protect unloading operations from the grounded Army transport George Peabody.

Resolute patrolled St. Inigoes Creek, St. Mary's River, St. George's Creek, and the mouth of the Rappahannock River, into 1864. From August to October 1864, she acted as ship's tender to the coast defense monitor USS Roanoke (1855) anchored off Point Lookout, Maryland. Subsequently under major overhaul 12 October 1864 to 11 January 1865 at Washington Navy Yard, Resolute returned to the Potomac Flotilla to resume cruising duty. Steaming largely off Cockpit Point, Liverpool Point, and between Sandy Point and Indian Head,

Post-war decommissioning and sale[edit]

Resolute returned to Washington Navy Yard at war's end and was decommissioned 26 May 1865. Resolute was sold 24 June 1865 at Washington, D.C., to T. J. Southard. Redocumented 8 July 1865, she remained in merchant service until abandoned in 1899.

See also[edit]


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