Quick Links Menu.
No illustrations are available of this ship.
Design: Sail (clipper ship)
Displacement (tons): 874 (old measurement)
Dimensions (feet): 175.0' oa, 167.0' pp x 34.5' x 20.5' depth
Original Armament: 8-32pdr (1862)
Later armaments: 1-30pdr Parrott rifle, 8-32pdr (1862)
Speed (kts.): --
Propulsion (HP): N/A
Machinery: Sail, ship rig
||9 Sep 61
||J. O. Curtis, Medford
||3 Jul 52
||11 Jan 62
||13 Nov 84
||1 Nov 84
The medium clipper ship ONWARD was built in 1852 by James O. Curtis of Medford, Mass. for Reed, Wade & Co. of Boston. She was of an intermediate type between the extreme clippers and the best packet models, although she was sometimes called an extreme clipper. She completed her first passage from Boston to San Francisco in 125 days. She was purchased by the Navy on 9 September 1861 at New York from John Ogden for $27,000.
Commissioned on 11 January 1862, the fast sailing ship was given a relatively strong armament and assigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, where she captured or destroyed several blockade runners and accepted the steamer PLANTER from the escaped slave Robert Smalls who had escaped from Charleston Harbor in her. In September 1862 the former clipper sailed north for repairs, and on 30 March 1863 she sailed for the South Atlantic to search for Confederate commerce raiders. In May with the steam sloop MOHICAN she cornered in Bahia, Brazil, two supply ships that supported the raiders ALABAMA and GEORGIA and prevented them from carrying out their mission. ONWARD returned to Boston on 10 September 1863 but on 5 November 1863 she was ordered to continue hunting raiders in the South Atlantic. She went out of commission at New York on 20 June 1865.
ONWARD recommissioned on 5 September 1865 and during 1866 and early 1867 served as storeship for the Brazil squadron, which soon became the South Atlantic squadron. From mid-1867 to mid-1868 she served as storeship for the Asiatic Squadron. A gap in her logbooks suggests she was out of commission, probably at New York, between 22 August 1868 and 3 November 1868. She was then assigned duty as storeship for the South Pacific Squadron and proceeded to Callao, Peru, where she performed this duty continuously for the next 15 years. She was reported sold on 1 November 1884 at Callao for $1,850 but her last logbook does not end until 13 Nov 84.
||Ex merc. ONWARD. Sold in November 1884 at Callao, Peru.
Compiled: 06 Jul 2013
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2013