Military Wiki

See also USS Sam Houston (SSBN-609).

USS Sam Houston (1861)
Career (US)
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: date unknown
Commissioned: circa October 1862
Decommissioned: circa March 1866
Struck: 1866 (est.)
Captured: captured by Union Navy forces
7 July 1861
Fate: sold, 25 April 1866
General characteristics
Displacement: 66 tons
Length: not known
Beam: not known
Draught: not known
Propulsion: schooner sail
Speed: not known
Complement: 15
Armament: one heavy 12-pounder smoothbore cannon

USS Sam Houston (1861) was a small (66-ton) schooner captured by the Union Navy during the beginning of the American Civil War.

She served the Union Navy during the blockade of ports and waterways of the Confederate States of America as a ship’s tender, pilot boat, and dispatch boat, but also as a gunboat when the occasion presented itself.

Service in the Confederacy

Sam Houston, also called Samuel Houston, was a small schooner which, before the Civil War, had operated along the Texas coast. During the first months of the conflict, she served as a pilot boat. On 18 June 1861, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles was warned that the little schooner was about to sail from Galveston, Texas, to carry $100,000 in gold to Havana, Cuba, to purchase “arms and munitions of war.”

Capture by the Union Navy

On 7 July 1861, USS South Carolina captured Sam Houston off Galveston, and the steamer's commanding officer,

Civil War service

Service in the Gulf squadron

Comdr. James Alden, took her into the Federal Navy as a ship’s tender. She served the Gulf Blockading Squadron, for the most part as a dispatch vessel, operating between Pensacola Bay and blockading ships stationed along the U.S. Gulf coast. No records have been found giving details of her commissioning; but, late in October 1862, she was commanded by Acting Master George W. Wood.

On 2 October 1861, she captured 4-ton schooner, Reindeer, off San Luis Pass, Texas. She removed its cargo of salt before sinking the prize.

The Report of the Secretary of the Navy for 1865 states that Sam Houston was entitled to share in the capture of schooner, Solidad Cos, taken by South Carolina on 11 September.

Service in the West Gulf squadron

After Federal naval jurisdiction in the Gulf of Mexico was divided early in 1862, Sam Houston operated in the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, performing widely varied duties through the end of the war.

Post-war service and disposal

For almost a year after peace returned, she served as a pilot boat of the Gulf Squadron. She was sold at New Orleans, Louisiana, on 25 April 1866 to J.B. Walton.

See also


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

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