Today in History:

Mendota (1864-1867)

USS Mendota, a 1173-ton Sassacus class "double-ender" steam gunboat, was built at Brooklyn, New York. Soon after commissioning in May 1864, she began service on the James River, Virginia, covering the Union Army's campaign against the Confederate defenses of Richmond. She engaged an enemy artillery battery in July 1864. During the early part of 1865, Mendota was employed as a shipping control vessel in Hampton Roads and at the mouth of the Delaware River. She decommissioned in May 1865 and remained "in ordinary" at League Island Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, until December 1867, when she was sold.

This page features our only views of USS Mendota.

Photo #: LC-B8171-2471

USS Mendota (1864-1867)

Photographed by Matthew Brady at Deep Bottom, on the James River, Virginia, in 1864-64.

Collections of the Library of Congress.

Photo #: NH 59439

USS Mendota (1864-1867)

Ship's officers and crew on the foredeck, 1864-65. Photographed by Matthew Brady.
Note 100-pounder Parrott rifled gun on a pivot carriage; men wearing white "flat" hats with the ship's name on the hat ribbon; foremast and yard; anti-boarding netting; and capstan.

The original negative is # 111-B-469 in the National Archives.

NOTE: Photo # NH 61933, a view of a IX-inch Dahlgren smoothbore gun and its crew on board a Civil War gunboat, has frequently been identified as having been taken on board USS Mendota. However, examination of ship structure clearly shows that the gunboat is not her. The view may have been taken on board USS Miami (1862-1865).