SMN John Able

SMN John Able

Death 27 Dec 1890 (aged 54–55)
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Burial Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Plot Block 14, Space 286
Memorial ID 54991812 · View Source
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John Able, Ordinary Seaman, USN

Pension records show service on board USS Roanoke and USS Patapsco. Wife was Barbara

Cook County, Illinois, Deaths Index, 1878-1922about John Able
Name: John Able
Birth Date: abt 1835
Birth Place: Scotland
Death Date: 29 Dec 1890
Death Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois
Burial Place: Graceland
Death Age: 55
Occupation: Laborer
Marital Status: Married
Gender: Male
FHL Film Number: 1030953

U.S. Navy Pensions Index, 1861-1910about John Able
Name: John Able
Publication: M1279
Pension Approval: Approved
File Number: 3932
Certification Number: 8261

The second USS Roanoke was a steam frigate in the United States Navy, later converted to an ironclad.

Steam frigate service

Roanoke launched on 13 December 1855 at Norfolk Navy Yard; and commissioned 4 May 1857, Captain John B. Montgomery in command.

Assigned to the Home Squadron as flagship, Roanoke's first duty was to return the American filibuster and former President of Nicaragua, William Walker, and 205 of his men to the United States. Sailing for Aspinwall, Colombia, (now called Colón, Panamá), on 30 May 1857, Roanoke returned on 4 August with Walker and his followers. Subsequently, Roanoke was sent to Boston Navy Yard where she decommissioned on 24 September 1857.

Recommissioned on 18 August 1858, Roanoke resumed her duties as flagship of the Home Squadron. Roanoke devoted the following months to cruising in the West Indies, carrying the U.S. Minister at Bogotá, George W. Jones, to Aspinwall and Cartagena. For over a year, she was stationed at Aspinwall awaiting the arrival of a special Japanese embassy to the United States. The Japanese delegation, traveling to Washington to exchange ratifications of the 1858 treaty, departed Yokohama on 13 February 1860 in the frigate USS Powhatan and reached Aspinwall by a train across the isthmus on 25 April 1860. The Roanoke embarked the delegation and reached Hampton Roads on 12 May 1860 and was decommissioned.

Following the outbreak of the American Civil War, Roanoke recommissioned on 20 June 1861. Attached to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, she destroyed the schooner Mary off Lockwood's Inlet, N.C., on 13 July 1861. The screw frigate subsequently took part in the capture of the schooners Albion and Alert and helped take the ship Thomas Watson off Charleston, S.C., on 15 October 1861.

During the attack of the CSS Virginia (the former USS Merrimack) on Union warships in Hampton Roads, 8 March 1862, Roanoke's deep draft prevented her from engaging the Confederate casement ram and kept her out of action the next day when the Virginia engaged the Union turreted ironclad, USS Monitor. Roanoke embarked 268 men from the USS Congress and USS Cumberland which Virginia had sunk, transported them north, and arrived at New York City on 25 March, and decommissioned the same day.

Ironclad service

Under the direction of the Chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair, John Lenthall, and the Chief of Steam Engineering, Benjamin F. Isherwood, Roanoke began an extensive modification at Novelty Iron Works, N.Y. Roanoke was cut down to a low-freeboard ship and given three revolving Ericsson centerline turrets. Instead of the usual series of 1 in. laminated plates for hull armor, Roanoke featured one-piece 4.5 in. slabs. She kept her single funnel but landed her full ship rig, and in her new configuration was accepted by the Navy at New York Navy Yard on 16 April 1863. An ordnance report, dated 31 August 1863, listed her battery as follows: fore turret 1 x 15 in. Dahlgren smoothbore, 1 x 150-pounder rifle; middle turret 1 x 15 in. Dahlgren, 1 x 11 in. Dahlgren; after turret, 1 x 11 in. Dahlgren, 1 x 150-pounder rifle.

Sea trials indicated that her heavy turrets caused her to roll dangerously in a seaway, and that her hull was not sufficiently strong to bear their weight and the concussion of the continuous firing. Recommissioned on 29 June 1863, Roanoke was assigned as harbor defense ship at Hampton Roads, Virginia, a duty she performed through the end of the Civil War.

Roanoke was decommissioned on 20 June 1865 at New York Navy Yard. Retained in reserve, Roanoke's only postwar service was as flagship of the Port Admiral at New York. Roanoke was recommissioned on 13 January 1874 and remained in reduced commission until again placed in reserve on 12 June 1875. Struck from the list on 5 August 1882, Roanoke was sold for scrapping on 27 September 1883 at Chester, Pennsylvania, to E. Stannard & Co., Westbrook, Connecticut.

USS Patapsco (1862) was a Passaic-class ironclad monitor in the United States Navy during the American Civil War. She was named for the Patapsco River in Maryland.

Built in Wilmington, Delaware

Patapsco was the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear that name. She was built by Harlan & Hollingsworth, Wilmington, Delaware; launched on 27 September 1862; and commissioned on 2 January 1863, Commander Daniel Ammen in command.

Civil War service
Assigned to the South Atlantic blockade

Assigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, she took part in a bombardment of Fort McAllister on 3 March. On 7 April, Patapsco joined eight other ironclads in a vigorous attack on Fort Sumter, and received 47 hits from Confederate gunfire during that day.

Beginning in mid-July, she began her participation in a lengthy bombardment campaign against Charleston's defending fortifications. This led to the capture of Fort Wagner in early September. Fort Sumter was reduced to a pile of rubble, but remained a formidable opponent.

In November 1863, Patapsco tested a large obstruction-clearing explosive device that had been devised by John Ericsson. Remaining off South Carolina and Georgia during much of 1864 and into 1865, the monitor — or her boat crews — took part in a reconnaissance of the Wilmington River, Georgia, in January 1864 and helped capture or destroy enemy sailing vessels in February and November of that year.

Sunk by a mine

On 14 January 1865, while participating in obstruction clearance operations in Charleston Harbor, Patapsco struck a Confederate mine and sank, with heavy loss of life.

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In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees


  • Maintained by: Rubbings
  • Originally Created by: brknhrt
  • Added: 15 Jul 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 54991812
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for SMN John Able (1835–27 Dec 1890), Find a Grave Memorial no. 54991812, citing Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Rubbings (contributor 47671529) .