From: Dictionary of American Fighting Ships


A river in Oregon rising near Roseburg and meandering northwest before emptying into Winchester Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The river in turn was named for the Umpqua Indians, a small tribe of Athabascan linguistic stock.

(Mon: dp. 1,175; l. 225'; b. 45'; dr. 6'; s. 9 k.; a. 2 11" D. sb.; cl. Casco)

Umpqua-a single-turreted, twin-screw monitor-was laid down in March 1863 at Brownsville, Pa., by Snowden & Mason; launched on 21 December 1865; and completed on 7 May 1866.

Umpqua was a Casco-class monitor intended for service in the shallow bays, rivers, and inlets of the Confederacy. These warships sacrificed armor plate for a shallow draft and were fitted with a ballast compartment designed to lower them in the water during battle to reduce the target they provided enemy guns.

However, when the first of the light-draft monitors were launched in the spring of 1864, the Navy discovered that serious errors had been made in calculating their displacements. Thev proved to have a scant three inches of freeboard-even without turret, guns, and stores. As a result, the Navy Department ordered on 24 June 1864 that Umpqua's deck be raised 22 inches to provide sufficient freeboard. Upon delivery, the monitor was laid up at Mound City, Ill.; and she saw no commissioned service. In August 1868, she was moved to New Orleans La. Her name was changed to Fury on 15 June 1869, but she resumed the name Umpqua on 10 August 1869.

Umpqua was sold at New Orleans on 12 September 1874 to Nathaniel McKay.