From: Dictionary of American Fighting Ships

Fort Jackson


A fortification on the Mississippi which surrendered to Rear Admiral Porter on 28 April 1862.


(SwStr: dp. 1,850; l. 250'; b. 38'6"; dr. 18'; s. 14 k.; a. 1 100-pdr. r., 2 30-pdr. r., 8 9" sb.) Fort Jackson, a wooden side wheel steamer built in New York in 1862 formerly named Kentucky and Union, was purchased by Rear Admiral Paulding for the Navy from C. W. Vanderbilt on 20 July 1863 [Vol. III, errata; 22 July] and placed in commission on 18 August 1863, Captain Henry Walke in command.

On 2 September she departed New York for Fort Monroe where she joined with steamer Connecticut in intercepting a British arms shipment from Bermuda to Wilmington. While sailing from Bermuda on 16 September a boiler burned out and forced her to repair at New York

In December 1863 Fort Jackson was assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron to cruise off the Western Bar, Cape Fear, and the following month helped in destroying the grounded blockade runner Bendigo at Folly Inlet. In April, Captain B. F. Sands, her commanding officer, organized a boat expedition in which her crew crossed the bar to Masonboro Sound and destroyed valuable State salt works, and seized a number of prisoners.

The steamer captured the blockade runner Thistle in June and took the runner Boston as prize during the next month. The success of her voyage was heightened when in the same period she plucked drifting cotton bales and bags from the sea and sent them to Philadelphia for adjudication.

During October she was attached to the 2d Division North Atlantic Blockading Squadron and on 21 October captured CSS Wando attempting to run through with a cargo of cotton.

During December Fort Jackson fought in the battle off Wilmington and in the first bombardment of Fort Fisher (24-25 December) during which she covered troop landings and received on board the dead and wounded.

After loading supplies for the fleet at Fort Monroe and Norfolk, she returned in mid-January 1865 to cannonade Fort Fisher until its surrender on the 15th.

On 1 February she was transferred to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, underwent repair at Pensacola and took up station on the Texas coast. She aided steamer Columbia in capturing the schooner Chaos off Galveston during April, and was present at the surrender of Forts Point and Magruder in June.

Fort Jackson returned to New York where she was decommissioned on 7 August and later sold 27 September.


Transcribed by Yves HUBERT (