From: Dictionary of American Fighting Ships

Dai Ching

Former name retained.


(ScStr: t. 520; l. 170'6"; b. 29'4"; dr. 9'6"; s. 6 k.; cpl. 83; a. 4 24-pdr. sb., 2 20-pdr. r., 1 100-pdr. r.)


Dai Ching was constructed for the China trade in 1863; purchased by the Navy 21 April 1863; outfitted at New York Navy Yard; and commissioned 11 June 1863, Lieutenant Commander J. C. Chaplin in command.

Dai Ching joined in the search for the Confederate privateer Tacony on the northeastern coast between 14 and 20 June 1863. After putting into Norfolk for coal and engine repairs, she arrived off Chrleston [sic; Charleston], S.C., 23 July and the following day joined other vessels of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron in the attack on Fort Wagner. On 25 July and again on 13-14 August she participated in assaults on Forts Wagner and Sumter, followed by a series of assaults on the other works in Charleston Harbor between 17 and 22 August. On 14 November she captured the schooner George Chisholm with a cargo of salt off the Santee River in South Carolina.

Dai Ching joined an expedition up St. John's River, Fla., and remained in that area from 6 February to 7 March 1864. She returned to patrolling on the South Carolina coast and in January 1865 patrolled in the Combahee River. She captured the schooner Coquette loaded with cotton on 26 January. Later that same day Dai Ching had to be abandoned after a gallant defense lasting more than 7 hours during which she lay aground under the guns of a Confederate battery. Struck 30 times by shot and shell, her guns disabled, and her machinery destroyed, she was set afire by her officers and men, all of whom escaped safely except five who were absent from the ship on duty and who were later captured by the Confederates.


Transcribed by Yves HUBERT