Today in History:

Tahoma (1861-1867)

USS Tahoma, a 691-ton Unadilla class screw steam gunboat, was built at Wilmington, Delaware, as part of a program to rapidly reinforce the Navy for Civil War operations. She was commissioned in December 1861 and soon joined the blockading forces in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. For more than two years Tahoma mainly operated along Florida's west coast, taking part in the capture or destruction of ten sailing blockade runners and one steamship. Her crew also participated in destructive raids on salt works and other facilities at St. Mark's, Tampa Bay, and other locations.

Sent north for repairs in mid-1864, Tahoma was out of commission until April 1865, then saw brief service along the U.S. Atlantic coast until July, when she decommissioned again. The gunboat had one further active period, operating with the Gulf Squadron from the fall of 1866. USS Tahoma decommissioned for the last time in August 1867 and was sold in October.

This page features our only view of USS Tahoma (1861-1867).

Photo #: NH 57826

USS Tahoma (1861-1867)

Wash drawing by R.G. Skerrett, 1903, depicting the ship as she was during the Civil War.

Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.