USS Gladiolus

Career (US)
Ordered: as Sallie Bishop
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: date unknown
Acquired: 2 June 1864
Commissioned: 15 June 1864
Decommissioned: 30 August 1865
Struck: 1865 (est.)
Fate: sold, 15 September 1865
General characteristics
Displacement: 81 tons
Length: 88'
Beam: 18' 6"
Draught: depth of hold 7’ 9”
Propulsion: steam engine
Speed: not known
Complement: not known
Armament: two 12-pounder rifles
one 24-pounder howitzer

USS Gladiolus (1864) was a steamship acquired by the Union Navy during the American Civil War.

A ship of many capabilities

Gladiolus was employed as a tugboat, a collier, a dispatch boat and a picket and patrol boat in support of the Union blockade of Southern waterways. Once Charleston, South Carolina, had been captured by Union forces, Gladiolus was employed as a minesweeper and as a salvage ship, clearing obstructions in the harbor.

Purchased at Philadelphia in 1864

Gladiolus, formerly tug Sallie Bishop, was purchased at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2 June 1864 by Commodore C. K. Stribling. She commissioned 15 June 1864, Acting Master J. C. Hamlin in command.

Assigned to the blockade at Charleston, South Carolina

Gladiolus departed Philadelphia 17 June 1864 to join Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren's South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, and was assigned to Charleston station, arriving 25 June.

For the next six months she was actively engaged in towing and coaling ships of the squadron, and served as a night picket boat protecting the powerful ironclads from torpedo and boarding attack. During this period she was also assisted in the capture of several blockade runners.

After the capture of Charleston in February 1865, Gladiolus worked in the harbor clearing obstructions and searching for torpedoes (mines). She subsequently served as a dispatch boat for the squadron between Florida ports and Port Royal, South Carolina, until she sailed for Washington, D.C. from Charleston 17 August 1865.

Decommissioning, sale, and subsequent career

She decommissioned at Washington Navy Yard 30 August 1865, and was sold 15 September to S. M. and J. M. Flanagan. Gladiolus returned to merchant service under the same name and was lost in 1887.


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See also

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