USS King Philip

Career (United States)
Name: USS King Philip
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: 1845
Acquired: 21 April 1861
In service: circa 28 April 1861
Renamed: Originally USS Powhatan; renamed USS King Philip 4 November 1861
Struck: 1865 (est.)
Homeport: Washington Navy Yard
Fate: Sold 15 September 1865
General characteristics
Type: Steamer / Dispatch boat
Displacement: 500 long tons (510 t)
Length: 204 ft (62 m)
Beam: 22 ft 11 in (6.99 m)
Depth of hold: 8 ft (2.4 m)
Propulsion: steam engine
side wheel-propelled
Complement: 14
Armament: 1 × gun

USS King Philip (1845) was a steamer acquired by the United States Navy during the American Civil War. She was used by the Union Navy as a dispatch boat, providing various services.

A commercial steamer seized by the Union Navy

Powhatan — a side-wheel steamer built in Baltimore, Maryland in 1845 by J. A. and E. T. Robinson — operated on the Potomac River out of Georgetown, D.C.. Early in the Civil War, the Union Army seized the side wheeler on 21 April 1861 and transferred her to the United States Navy.

Assigned to replace stolen buoys in the Potomac

The next day, she entered the Washington Navy Yard to be fitted out for war service. A week later, Lieutenant John Glendy Sproston was ordered to take command of Powhatan and proceed to Kettle Bottom Shoals to replace and protect buoys there which had been removed by Confederate agents.

Renamed USS King Philip

After patrol duty in the Potomac River, helping to protect Washington, D.C. during the early months of the Civil War, Powhatan steamed to Baltimore, Maryland for repairs. She was renamed USS King Philip on 4 November.

Civil War duties

Throughout the Civil War, King Philip was used as a dispatch boat, shuttling mail, supplies, and passengers between Washington, D.C. and Union ships on the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers. In 1862 she served as a temporary home for the crew of the famous USS Monitor while they were waiting for their ship to be repaired and refitted.[1]

Post-war decommissioning and sale

King Philip was sold at auction to H. F. Harrill on 15 September 1865.

See also



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