|USS Commodore Morris on the James River. Notice the addition of boiler plate iron along the side of the vessel.|
|New York ferryboats working in|
the East River before the war
|The company of the former Staten Island ferryboat |
Hunchback poses for one of the best Civil War images
taken of the U.S. Navy during the war.
Most of the ferryboats displaced 600 to 750 tons; were about 175 to 180 feet in length and about 29 feet wide; and only drew ten feet of water when fully loaded. The vessel’s armament varied, but generally they were equipped with 100-pounder Parrot Rifles, IX-inch Dahlgren smoothbores, and assorted smaller guns, such as 32- and 12-pounders.
In addition to being gunboats, they also excelled as amphibious assault ships. Since the ship’s primary function before the war was to carry people, U.S. Army commanders frequently requested use of the vessels for raids. The ship could carry several hundred soldiers on board along with heavy guns and ammunition.
|USS Commodore Barney (ex-ferryboat Ethan Allen)|
|CSS Albemarle rammed and sank the Staten|
Island ferry USS Southfield in 1864.
|USS Commodore Perry trails the monitor USS Onondaga on the James River, 1864|