CSS Banshee


CSS Banshee


 

Career
Ordered:
Builder: Jones Quiggin & Co., Liverpool, England
Laid down: 1862 Liverpool, England
Launched: 22 Nov 1862
Commissioned: Jan 1864
Decommissioned:
Fate: captured by USS Grand Gulf and the U.S. Army Transport Fulton on 21 November 1863

General Characteristics
Type:
Area of Operation:
Displacement: 533 tons burthen, 325 GRT
Length: 220 feet
Beam: 20 feet 4 inches
Draft: 10 feet
Propulsion: Side wheels, 2-cylinder oscillating engine (42″ x 3′9″), 2 boilers (built by Laird Brothers, Birkenhead England)
Speed: 12 knots
Complement:
Armament:
Armor:
Steel-hulled

Banshee , a 533-ton (burden) side-wheel steamship, was built in Liverpool, England, in 1862 for employment running the Federal blockade of the Confederate coast. Her trans-Atlantic maiden voyage, in April 1863, was a “first” for a steel-hulled ship, though her innovative construction proved troublesome in service. During the next seven months, Banshee was very successful in her intended trade, making seven round-trip voyages between Bermuda or the Bahamas and Wilmington, North Carolina. She was captured by USS Grand Gulf and the U.S. Army Transport Fulton on 21 November 1863, while en route to Wilmington.

Sent North for adjudication by the New York Prize Court, she was purchased in March 1864 by the U.S. Navy, which converted her to a gunboat and, in June 1864, placed her in commission as USS Banshee . The steamer served for the rest of the year with the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. In December she took part in the abortive attempt to capture Fort Fisher, N.C. Banshee was reassigned to the Potomac Flotilla in mid-January 1865 and spent the rest of the Civil War operating on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Decommissioned after the fighting ended, she was sold in November 1865.

Her new owners placed her in commercial service under the name T.L. Smallwood (or J.L. Smallwood ). Sold to British interests in 1867, she was renamed Irene and remained in use at least until the 1890s.

“schooner rig, iron frame hull plated with steel, two pole masts. First steel vessel to cross the Atlantic. Engines were unreliable.” from Silverstone CIVIL WAR NAVIES 1855-1883

2.List of Commanders/Crew

3.Painting Information

Books/Articles and other resources
Silverstone CIVIL WAR NAVIES 1855-1883

Back to Confederate Blockade Runners

Responses

  1. builder: Jones Quiggin & Co., Liverpool, England
    launched: 22 Nov 1862
    acquired: 12 Mar 1864
    commissioned: Jan 1864

    displacement: 533 tons burthen, 325 GRT

    machinery: Side wheels, 2-cylinder oscillating engine (42″ x 3’9″), 2 boilers (built by Laird Brothers, Birkenhead England)
    speed: 12 knots

    “schooner rig, iron frame hull plated with steel, two pole masts. First steel vessel to cross the Atlantic. Engines were unreliable.”

    from Silverstone CIVIL WAR NAVIES 1855-1883

    Entry for Banshee as USN vessel in Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)

    http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/b2/banshee-i.htm


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