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This Month in Naval History
Quaker City SwGbt

Quaker City

(SwGbt: t. 1,600; 1. 244'8"; b. 36'0"; dch. 29'9~"; dr. 13'8";
s. 13 k.; cpl. 163; a. 1 20-pdr. P.r.; 8 32-pdrs.)

Quaker City, a side wheel steamer built at Philadelphia in 1854, was chartered by the Navy for 30 days 25 April 1861 from Hargous & Co., rechartered for 3 months 25 May purchased 12 August 1861, and commissioned at New York 14 December 1861, Comdr. James M. Frailey in command.

Placed in service only six days after President Lincoln declared a blockade of the Confederate coast, Quaker City was one of the most active and effective blockaders in the Union Navy. Stationed off the entrance to Chesapeake Bay, she shared in the capture of ship North Carolina 14 May, of bark Pioneer in Hampton Roads on the 25th and of bark Winilred off Cape lIenry the same day. She captured schooner Lynchburg, carrying coffee in the Chesapeake Bay 30 May and took bark General Green off Cape Henry 4 June. Already a veteran, she shared in the capture of Amy Warwick in Hampton Roads on the 10th, took bark Sally Magee there on the 26th, and shared in taking schooner Sally JIears 1 July.

Schooner Fair Wind became her prize 29 August, and the side wheeler shared in the capture of steamer Elsie 4 September. Three days later she sailed north for repairs and to rece*e a Navy crew and organization.

Commissioned at New York 14 December Quaker City was detached from the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron to cruise in search of CSS Sumter and turned her attention to hunting Confederate raiders. She captured Model in the Gulf of Mexico 30 June 1862 and Lilla carrying drugs, off Holein-Wall, Va., 3 Julv 1862. Four days later, she helped Nunt~- ville take Adela off the Bahamas, and on the 24th blockade runner Orion at Champeche Bank, south of Key West.

Mercury struck to the side wheeler off Charleston, S.C., 4 January 1863 and Quaker City shared in the capture of Princee~ Royai on the 29th. Two days later she helped fight CSS Chicora and CSS Palmetto State when the Confederate rams attacked the Union squadron in the morning fog off Charleston. She suffered considerable damage from a shell which entered about seven feet above the water line and exploded in the engine room. This damage and the wear from her hard service took its toll forcing her north for overhaul. Departing Port Royal 8 March, she took schooner Douro off Wilmington the following day, heading for Nassau with a cargo of cotton, turpentine, and tobacco.

Back in action she picked up 40 bales of cotton at sea 26 June 1864 and shared in the capture of steamer Elie off Charleston 5 September. She participated in the abortive attack on Ft. Fisher, N.C., on Christmas Eve.

Cruising in the Gulf of Mexico, she took schooner R. H. Vermilyea 12 March 1865, Telemico on the the 16th and George Burkhart the next day. Steamer Cora surrendered to her near Brazos Santiago, Tex., on the 24th. She chased CSS Webb as the Confederate steamer attempted to run down the Mississippi and escape to sea 24 April.

After the war, Quaker City decommissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard 18 May 1865 and was sold at auction there 20 June 1865. Redocumented 11 August 1865, Quaker City served American commerce under United States registry until sold abroad in 1869.


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