USS Westfield , an 822-ton side-wheel inshore gunboat, was built in 1861 at New York City as a civilian ferryboat. She was purchased by the Navy in November 1861 and placed in commission in January 1862. Sent to the Gulf of Mexico in February, Westfield took an active part in the April campaign to open the lower Mississippi River and capture New Orleans. During the following
three months, the gunboat supported the mortar schooner flotilla in operations up the river toward Vicksburg.
Sent to join the blockading force off Texas later in the summer of 1862, Westfield participated in the capture of Galveston in early October. She thereafter operated in that area. On 1 January 1863, while serving as flagship of the Federal naval forces off Galveston, she ran aground and was threatened by a daring Confederate attack. To prevent capture, USS Westfield was blown
up by her crew.
Watercolor by Erik Heyl, 1962, painted for use in his book "Early American Steamers", Volume IV. She was originally the civilian ferryboat Westfield , built in 1861.
Wash drawing by R.G. Skerrett, 1904
"Commodore Farragut's Squadron and Captain Porter's Mortar Fleet entering the Mississippi River" Line engraving based on a sketch by an officer of USS Mississippi , published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting the scene at the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi, circa 7 April 1862.
Features identified in the engraving's title lines include (from left to right): Light-house on Southwest Pass; USS Colorado (in left foreground); USS Pensacola on the bar; USS Westfield (seen nearly stern-on); Porter's mortar fleet, heading up the river; USS Mississippi on the bar; USS Harriet
Lane (side-wheel steamer at the rear of the mortar fleet); USS Connecticut (in right foreground); USS Clifton ; town of Banona.
"Attack of the Rebels upon our Gun-boat Flotilla at Galveston, Texas, January 1, 1863." Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1863. USS Harriet Lane is shown in the left distance, under attack by the Confederate gunboats Neptune and Bayou City . The grounded USS
Westfield is at right, being blown up to prevent capture. USS Owasco is in the center of the view
"Surprise and Capture of the United States Steamer 'Harriet Lane', by the Confederates, under General Magruder, and the Destruction of the Flagship 'Westfield' in Galveston Harbor, Texas, January 1st, 1863." Line engraving published in "The Soldier in our Civil War", Volume II. USS Harriet Lane is
shown in the center, under attack by the Confederate gunboats Neptune and Bayou City . USS Westfield is at the far left, being blown up to prevent her capture
Confederate Phoenix The CSS Virginia The CSS Virginia of the Confederate States Navy
destroyed two of the most formidable warships in the U.S. Navy. Suddenly, with this event, every wooden warship in every navy in the world became totally obsolete
Life in Mr.
Lincoln's Navy A tantalizing glimpse into the hardships endured by the naval leadership to build and recruit a fighting force. The seaman endured periods of boredom, punctuated by happy social times and terrifying bouts of battle horror
Confederate Phoenix The CSS Virginia The CSS Virginia of the Confederate States Navy destroyed two of the most formidable warships in the U.S. Navy. Suddenly, with this event, every wooden warship in every navy in the world became totally obsolete
Confederate Submarines and Torpedo Vessels 1861-65 Interesting
information and many excellent illustrations. It addresses the CSA David class torpedo boats and the Hunley (and its predecessors), as well as Union examples such as the Alligator and the Spuyten Duyvil
History Channel Civil War Secret Missions There are about a half-dozen different small arms types, but the Henry is the best for rapid repeating fire and least reloading. The shotgun they give you is useless: you must aim spot-on to affect an enemy, so why not just use the rifle? Grenades are useful at times.
American Civil War Marines 1861-65 Marines wearing blue and grey fought in many
dramatic actions afloat and ashore – ship-to-ship engagements, cutting-out expeditions, and coastal landings. This book offers a comprehensive summary of all such battles, illustrated with rare early photographs
Union River Ironclad 1861-65 At the start of the American Civil War, neither side
had warships on the Mississippi River. In what would prove the vital naval campaign of the war, both sides fought for control of the river. While the Confederates relied on field fortifications and small gunboats, the Union built a series of revolutionary river ironclads
The Story of the H.L. Hunley During the Civil War, Union forces blockade the port of
Charleston so the Confederate army seeks a way to attrack the Yankee Ships. George Dixon is part of the group of men given the task of creating and building the "fish boat," a submarine. The H.L. Hunley ultimately sets out on its mission to sink Yankee ships, but fails to return, its whereabouts unknown.
Halls of Honor The U.S. Navy Museum takes you on an informed and entertaining romp through
one of North America s oldest and finest military museums. The museum has been in continuous operation at the Washington Navy Yard since the American Civil War
Raise The Alabama She was known as "the ghost ship." During the Civil War, the CSS Alabama
sailed over 75,000 miles and captured more than 60 Union vessels. But her career came to an end in June of 1864 when she was sunk by the USS Kearsarge off the coast of Northern France
The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns Here is the saga of celebrated generals and ordinary soldiers,
a heroic and transcendent president and a country that had to divide itself in two in order to become one