USS Wyandotte (1859-1865) A Virtual Cemetery created by: Rubbings
Description: USS Wyandotte (1859-1865).Formerly the civilian steamship Western Port (1853). Briefly served as USS Western Port in 1858-1859USS Wyandotte, a 464-ton screw gunboat, was built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1853 as the commercial steamship Western Port. In 1858 she was chartered by the Navy for use during a punitive expedition to Paraguay, serving as USS Western Port from October 1858 until May 1858. She was then purchased by the Navy, renamed Wyandotte and placed in commission in September 1859. While operating in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, she captured the slaver William off Cuba in May 1860. During the latter part of that year and the first four months of 1861, Wyandotte was active off Florida, protecting U.S. Government facilities during the secession crisis.When the crisis exploded into war in April 1861 Wyandotte remained active in the Gulf until she went north for repairs in August. From December 1861 until July 1862 she enforced the blockade of the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia and eastern Florida. Her next assignment, beginning in September 1862, was to the Potomac Flotilla, which operated in the Chesapeake Bay region. Structural weakness caused Wyandotte to be confined to guardship duty at Norfolk, Virginia, from October 1863 until the end of the Civil War. Decommissioned in June 1865, she was sold at auction in July and two months later entered merchant service as S.S. Wyandotte. However, her commercial career was cut short when she was wrecked off Duxbury, Massachusetts, on 26 January 1866.