USS Tritonia (1863)
|Ordered:||as Sarah S. B. Gary|
|Laid down:||date unknown|
|Acquired:||1 December 1863|
|Commissioned:||23 April 1864|
|Decommissioned:||circa October 1866|
|Homeport:||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Fate:||sold, 5 October 1866|
She served the Union Navy’s struggle against the Confederate States of America in a variety of ways: as a tugboat, a patrol gunboat, a dispatch boat, a salvage ship, a minesweeper, and as a small (202 ton) transport.
- 1 Steamer constructed in Connecticut in 1863
- 2 Civil War operations
- 3 Post-war services with U.S. Army troops
- 4 Decommissioning, sale and subsequent maritime career
- 5 See also
- 6 References
Steamer constructed in Connecticut in 1863
Tritonia—a side-wheel steamer built as Sarah S. B. Gary in 1863 at East Haddam, Connecticut—was purchased by the Navy at Hartford, Connecticut, on 1 December 1863; and commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 23 April 1864, Lt. Roswell H. Lamson in command.
Civil War operations
Clearing mines and debris in Virginia’s James River
With USS Stepping Stones and USS Delaware, Tritonia served in a special torpedo and picket division established in the James River, Virginia, on 12 May 1864. The division patrolled the river to keep it clear of Confederate vessels, torpedoes (mines), and fire rafts.
Assigned to the West Gulf blockade
On 26 July, Tritonia left the division for duty with the West Gulf Blockading Squadron. She arrived in Mississippi Sound on 5 August, the day of Admiral David Farragut's victory in Mobile Bay, and spent the remainder of the month operating as a dispatch vessel between New Orleans, Louisiana, and that historic body of water.
Destroying valuable salt works
On 8 and 9 September, boat crews from Tritonia, USS Rodolph, USS Stockdale, and Army transport USS Planter destroyed several large Confederate salt works at Salt House Point in Bon Secours Bay, Alabama.
As they returned to Mobile Bay on 11 September, the vessels were fired upon but suffered no casualties.
Continued blockade duty along the Gulf
Tritonia resumed blockade duty, towing the captured schooner Medora to New Orleans, Louisiana, on 15 December for adjudication. She then operated in Mobile Bay until the end of the war and later at Pensacola, Florida, and New Orleans, Louisiana.
Post-war services with U.S. Army troops
On 29 January 1866, Tritonia carried a company of U.S. Army troops up the Tombigbee River and recaptured the steamer Belfast which had been seized by guerrillas and taken up that stream. The joint expedition also recovered the steamer's cargo of cotton and captured five guerrillas as well.
Decommissioning, sale and subsequent maritime career
- "Vicinity of Salt Works and Camp Anderson: "Salt Is Eminently Contraband"". Historical Marker Database. Retrieved 24 September 2015.