USS Onward (1852)

The USS "Onward" was a clipper ship in the United States Navy.

"Onward" was launched 3 July 1852 by J. O Curtis at Medford, Massachusetts, for Reed, Wade, and Co., Boston, Massachusetts, and operated in merchant service between New York City, Boston, Massachusetts and San Francisco, California. Purchased by the U.S. Navy at New York city from John Ogden 9 September 1861, for service in the Civil War, "Onward" commissioned at New York Navy Yard 11 January 1862, Acting Vol. Lt. J. Frederick Nickels in command.

Assigned to the South Atlantic Blockade

Assigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, "Onward" arrived at Port Royal, South Carolina, 28 January, and operated along the coasts of Georgia and Florida before taking station off Charleston.

On 12 March, with four other Union ships, she captured blockade running ship "Emily St. Pierre" of Charleston attempting to slip into Charleston Harbor laden with gunny cloth from Calcutta, India needed for baling Southern cotton. On 26 April, she forced schooner "Chase" aground on Raccoon Key near Cape Romain, South Carolina, and destroyed her. She drove schooner "Sarah" aground at Bull’s Bay, South Carolina, where she was destroyed by her own crew to prevent capture 1 May. Twelve days later off Charleston, she accepted "Planter" from Robert Smalls, an escaped slave, who had slipped out of Charleston Harbor with the Confederate steamer while her officers were ashore.

Searching for Confederate blockade runners

In September, "Onward" sailed north for repairs and, when back in fighting trim, she sailed 30 March 1863 for the South Atlantic and was used for the rest of the war as a cruiser on the high seas hunting Confederate commerce raiders. In May "Onward" and USS "Mohican" cornered Confederate tenders "Agrippina" and "Castor" which supplied coal, gunpowder, and provisions for Southern raiders "Alabama" and "Georgia", in Bahia, Brazil and hemmed them in port until they were forced to sell their fuel and munitions to obtain clearance from port. This delay prevented the tenders from fulfilling their mission.

Post-war decommissioning and sale

After the war ended, "Onward" decommissioned at New York City 20 June 1865. She recommissioned 5 September 1865 and was used as a storeship at Callao, Peru until decommissioned 13 November 1884, and was sold there.


See also

* List of United States Navy ships
* American Civil War
* Union Navy
* Confederate States Navy
* Clipper ship

External links

* [ Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]

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